Government: Canada is not One Country – it’s 13admin2019-04-05T19:09:16+00:00
GOVERNMENT: CANADA IS NOT ONE COUNTRY - IT'S 13
Canadian Governments Quiz
Check your answers by reading the text below or by watching the video.
1. Easy Question:
All the provinces and territories have the same laws, rules and regulations.
a) True b) False
2. Easy Question:
No matter where in Canada you live, you will pay the same amount of taxes.
a) True b) False
3. More Difficult:
Which level of government is responsible for healthcare and education?
a) Federal b) Provincial c) Municipal
4. More Difficult:
All public schools provide the same quality of education.
a) True b) False
Which of these provinces has better healthcare services?
a) Ontario b) Quebec c) Saskatchewan
If you are licensed to work as an engineer in Ontario, which other province can you work in?
a) all b) none c) Alberta c) Manitoba and Saskatchewan
Check your answers below.
Canada is not one country – it’s 13
If you are immigrating to Canada, the first thing you need to do is to research the province you’re moving to. Why? Because Canada is not one homogeneous country – there are significant differences between the provinces and territories. Some of these differences include: healthcare systems, education systems, taxes and job licencing.
HISTORY: How it all began
If you know a little bit of Canadian history, it will be easier for you to understand the roots of this notion. Different provinces existed separately and joined Canada gradually. Here’s the timeline:
Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia – July 1, 1867
Manitoba and Northwest Territories – July 15, 1870
British Columbia – July 20, 1871
Prince Edward Island – July 1, 1873
Yukon – June 13, 1898
Saskatchewan and Alberta – September 1, 1905
Newfoundland – March 31, 1949
Nunavut – April 1, 1999
(Note: Nunavut was formed by dividing Northwest Territories in two parts)
Each of the provinces and territories was independent until joining Canada and already had it’s own government system in place. For this reason, the current situation is such that Provincial Governments in Canada have a lot of power. To understand how much power we are talking about, let’s look at responsibilities of different levels of government.
Responsibilities of Federal Government:
Employment insurance (EI)
Money and Banking
The post office
Indian affairs (Indigenous people)
Responsibilities of Provincial Governments:
Education (public schooling)
Property and civil rights
Administration of justice
Some natural resources
Road regulations (driver’s licence, highways)
Policing (but only in Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador)
Responsibilities of Municipal Governments:
Waste collection (garbage, recycling)
Public transit (transportation)
Land use planning
Fire fighting services
Policing (but only big cities have their own police)
As you can see, provinces have a lot of responsibilities in the most important areas of life: healthcare, education and taxes. So what does it mean to you as an immigrant. Let’s take a look at taxes first.
DIFFERENT TAXES DEPENDING ON THE PROVINCE
Where you live affects how much tax you pay. On top of 5% federal tax, you will have to pay for example:
The same applies to income taxes. On top of federal 15% income tax, you will have to pay:
In Ontario: 5% income tax
In Alberta: 10% income tax
In Saskatchewan: 10.5% income tax
In Quebec: 15% income tax
(this example applies to approx. $30,000 annual income bracket)
DIFFERENT EDUCATION DEPENDING ON THE PROVINCE
Do you have children? If you have small children who need daycare services, you need to know how much it would cost you. For example, Quebec has the lowest cost of only $7.75 per day (subsidized) which adds up to approximately $230 per month. On the other hand, Ontario has some of the most expensive rates – you can expect to pay up to $800 – $900, depending on the city.
When your child is older and it’s time for them to attend school, it is very important to know that not all public schools provide the same quality of education. Some schools are better than others. So before you chose a neighbourhood where to settle, consider this: your child will go to school in that neighbourhood. Is it a good school? If the reason why you are immigrating to Canada is to give your child a good education, consider choosing a school first. To find the information, you will need to google ‘Best elementary schools in Toronto’ or ‘best high schools in…’ or ‘best schools in Alberta’.
To read more about Canadian education systems, including colleges and universities, please click here.
DIFFERENT HEALTHCARE DEPENDING ON THE PROVINCE
If you’re immigrating to Canada because or partially because of its healthcare system, the province of Ontario has the best hospitals and is ranked the top one among the ten. British Columbia and Nova Scotia are placed second and third respectively. On the other hand, Newfoundland was ranked one of the worst, together with Saskatchewan, Quebec and Manitoba. It’s important to know that waiting times plague the systems – you can read more about how to deal with this issue in ‘Healthcare in Canada’.
Another thing important to find out is what your province’s healthcare system actually covers. For example, OHIP is the Ontario Health Insurance Plan is generally seen as more generous one in terms of coverage.
DIFFERENT LICENCE DEPENDING ON THE PROVINCE
If your profession is regulated on a provincial or territorial level, you may not be able to work in another province until you get licenced there. Different provinces can have different standards to be met for your licence so getting licensed in another place might take some time.
Licences are only valid in the province or territory where they are issued. For example, if you an engineer, you will need to get a second licence to work in another province (visit https://engineerscanada.ca to learn more).
The same applies to other documents like driver’s licence, health card, etc. – if you move from one province to another, you have to get all the new documents. So, is Canada one country or 13? For you to decide.