Ever since I can remember I've heard the comment that there is "no difference" between Canadians and Americans. I respectfully beg to differ as there is a difference on so many levels! We have unique Canadian culture consisting of Canadianisms, a Canadian perspective on world events, Canadian cuisine as well as products and foods only available in Canada. This blog is dedicated to celebrating all things Canadian from "my perspective" as a Canadian. Please enjoy your visit and be sure to visit often.

Garden Gnome
Americans should never underestimate the constant pressure on Canada which the mere presence of the United States has produced. We're different people from you and we're different people because of you. Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is effected by every twitch and grunt. It should not therefore be expected that this kind of nation, this Canada, should project itself as a mirror image of the United States.
- Pierre Trudeau

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Illegal Immigrants

[received by email with my response below]

Let me see if I understand all this ~ ~ ~ ~

  • If you cross the North Korean border illegally you get 12 years hard labour.
  • If you cross the Iranian border illegally you are detained indefinitely.
  • If you cross the Afghan border illegally you get shot.
  • If you cross the Chinese border illegally you may never be heard from again
  • If you cross the Venezuelan border illegally you will be branded a spy and your fate will be sealed.
  • If you cross the Cuban border illegally you will be thrown into political prison to rot
If you cross the Canadian border illegally you get a job, a driver's license, social security number, welfare, food stamps, credit cards, subsidized rent or a loan to buy a house, free education, free health care, a lobbyist in Ottawa and in many instances you can vote. !!!!!!


First and foremost, anyone entering Canada illegally can and does result in several severe penalties including deportation. Even those caught living illegally in Canada for several years and being rather productive without contributing to the tax base other than through sales tax have been deported with the most recent case an elderly woman. While the above is making the email rounds it clearly was not written by a Canadian. We do not have Social Security Numbers we have Social Insurance Numbers (SIN). In order to legally work in Canada you need a SIN. To get a SIN you need to have proof of Canadian citizenship or eligibility to obtain a temporary SIN that begins with the three numerals 905. If you do not qualify for a temporary SIN then you can apply for a work permit jointly applied for by you and your employer. You will require a legal passport in order to apply for a work permit. Now you can technically work illegally under the table without a SIN but you wouldn't want to get caught doing so. Illegal workers in Canada can be found working as seasonal farm labour as well as the sex, adult entertainment and drug sector so while it is possible it definitely is not going to be very appealing. To obtain a driver's license you need to present a valid driver's license from your previous residence. Those within Canada have no problem obtaining a driver's license from their new province or town of residence. Those presenting a driver's license other than Canadian will need to show they have gone through the hoop of getting all the necessary permits such as SIN or work permit. Health care is free (to some degree) in Canada for Canadian citizens. Non-residents must apply to the appropriate provincial health care with appropriate documentation to prove they are Canadian citizens and wait for the require time (usually 3 months). Illegal immigrants are technically out of luck with respect to Canadian health care. Social Assistance (welfare) is administered at the county levels. You must be a Canadian with proof of citizenship residing in that county for at least 3 months to be eligible for social assistance. Food stamps are non-existent! That is a US concept not a Canadian one. In extreme emergency situations a Canadian citizen could qualify for a food voucher that could be taken to the grocery store but it is not the norm. Illegal immigrants are not going to get subsidized for housing or loans for buying a home. Just to buy a house you need proof of citizenship! You will not get a lobbyist in Ottawa and illegal immigrants do not get a chance to vote. If you're lucky you might get a human activist to act on your behalf but again that is usually in extreme cases.

Sorry as convincing as the actual email sounded any Canadian would recognize it for the ignorance and bigotry it displays.


  1. After Canada slammed the border shut last November, we were afraid we would not have the opportunity to live as Canadians. Wooohooo! I have been accepted to school and the student visa may end up being our ticket to the greatest nation on the planet. We are happy to pay for medical care in Canada...something I cannot say of the U.S..

    Even to an American who wants to be a Canadian, such an email would likely be unconvincing because of the reasons you've enumerated. I take it back, many Americans are far to easy to convince with nothing more than an email. :(

    Wish us luck and please keep up the blogging!

  2. Hi Erik! What wonderful news! I'm so happy for you. Canada seriously with all its faults is still one of the best places to live in the world. I wish you the very best in your new journey as you discover what a great place Canada is.

    What I don't like about these types of emails is it does put the misinformation out there. If you follow the proper channels immigrating to Canada is not a problem. Anyone believing that illegal immigrants have it on easy street in Canada have the wool pulled over their eyes :)

  3. Ya. We have actually met a number of illegals up there. None are living an easy life, that is for certain. We are dotting i's and crossing t's and we are excited to be doing it.


  4. thank you for debunking that loathsome email. as someone with friends in canada, who has spent a lot of time in the wonderful city of montreal, i get every bit as disgusted as you by the kind of bigoted nonsense exemplified by that email.

    wishing you the very best.