The immigration process can be speeded up if you can convince Canadian officials that you are an entrepreneur with business skills, and are prepared to invest at least 150,000 Canadian dollars (pounds 75,000) in creating Canadian jobs.
Although Canadian politicians have been promising an economic recovery for the past two years, the statistics show the recession is lingering, with GDP growth for the current year expected to be between 0 and 1 per cent. Unemployment is at 11.4 per cent and showing no signs of decreasing in the immediate future.
Because of the recession, inflation rates have plummeted and are now less than 3 per cent. Interest rates have also dropped: expect to pay 7 to 8 per cent for a mortgage.
The 1992 average weekly wage in the manufacturing industries was Cdollars 677, compared with Cdollars 392 in transportation, communication and other utilities and a high of Cdollars 937 in mining and petroleum industries (which are in a slump at present).
A three-bedroom bungalow in suburban Toronto would cost from Cdollars 200,000 to Cdollars 300,000 but about half of that in Regina. A mid-sized economy car starts at about Cdollars 12,000 (with taxes).
Canada's immigration process is based on a points system in which language (English or French), education, job experience and job skills, and adaptabilty are important criteria. The system gives extra points for people with qualifications that are in demand.
Heading that list are computer programmers, physiotherapists and other healthcare professionals, industrial designers and engineers.
'Brits' still play a prominent role in Canadian cultural institutions, such as the Stratford Festival, broadcasting and universities.
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