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A Right Ol' Covid Conundrum - A Move Turned Sour

A Right Ol' Covid Conundrum - A Move Turned Sour

Old Mar 13th 2021, 9:09 am
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Default A Right Ol' Covid Conundrum - A Move Turned Sour

Hi all, I need a bit of help!

We gained PR cards some time back but delayed a move once because of illness in the family and then covid hit. We have waited as long as possible but really needed to get a move on to ensure that PR would be retained with a healthy balance of days in country, so my wife started applying for roles.

She had been with her company for years and years. She was part of the furniture and well respected and knew the business inside out. She had risen up 'the ranks' and held her in high regard on a reasonable salary. She had reached a bit of a ceiling and and she hoped that Canada (Alberta) would allow her to further herself. We'd spent a lot of time over there over the past few years and felt like it would be a good opportunity. She had two offers for two very good roles in the same week (there isnt even two job like hers being advertised in 40 miles of where we currently live - let alone job offers). She bit the bullet and accepted one.

We got very excited and I put in for a career break with my government role as a safety blanket. Due to the position i'm in I have had to give 3 months notice, so my brave wife packed her bags and headed off to her new role she had selected as the most appropriate. She is now in a house she is renting and I am sorting out the house for rental over here and am on the remainder of my leave before my career break commences.

However, we have now hit a bit of a roadblock:
1.) MY JOB: My career break was authorised but is very restricted. I can work but on limited hours and can also complete education in a related field. If I go against any of the 'dont's' (ie. working more than 16 hours) I could find myself returning with the career break and find myself being dismissed. This is concerning both of us as Canada is not a cheap place to live in our standards - jobs are going to be hard for me to find. I have a responsible job and working in a casual role will not be for me and I feel that this very much puts a dampener on things. I could just jack in the the role, but this is a huge risk as it's quite a specialist field and the skills are no longer very transferrable (emergency services) in Canada - especially due to whats happened with the economy - I have already applied for similar roles to no joy in Canada which makes me worry.
2.) THE DOG: We have a dog and have had an updated quote to bring him with us. The quote is for an indirect flight and is more than £2600! This is more than double/ possibly triple what it was when we last quoted just prior to covid. We are really worried about the indirect flight also.
3.) HOUSING: We have a nice house over here in a very safe and quiet area, our mortgage is low. We are paying a higher price for a townhouse over in Canada and my wife hates it. It's noisy, big trucks are flying up and down the road Alberta style and she feels very homesick. It also doesnt help that spring has sprung in the UK, unlike in Alberta.
4.) HER ROLE: My wife is not particularly enjoying her role. She finds that it is no where near as good as her old role and she is constantly worrying about her being let go and the lack of job security.
5.) TENANTS: We have potential tenants lined up but they want to sign up to a 12 month lease. If I go over on the restricted career break and my wife continues to hate it, I can see a problem with coming back - not having two full incomes also puts pressure on us and our savings if we needed to fork out anything for the house here.

We are now really starting to struggle to see any positive of the move and we are now at a turning point. She either comes home, cap in hand and asks for her old job back while she still can as they have not yet recruited a replacement, I cancel my career break and we live a happy life knowing that it wasnt meant to me....Or we push ahead with plans, get tenants in and just go for it.

I have thought that her worries are likely because she is on her own and in a new country and in a new role, but we are taking such a risk here - its hard to seperate emotions from logic.

The grass is always greener, coming back I know she will feel humiliated, but it is the safest option. She regrets ever trying for it and covid has really messed up our plans and made everything a lot more complex.

Anyone else experience these problems when moving over? Did anyone push through and came out the other side? Or are the concerns rationale and should we just bin the whole idea whilst we still can?!
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Old Mar 13th 2021, 9:19 am
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Default Re: A Right Ol' Covid Conundrum - A Move Turned Sour

I should add that both scenarios are doable and we have significant savings to weather any tough times, but it is now a question on is it really worth it. We will survive in both scenarios.

My wife's view on the move has changed dramatically since moving over - and she has turned from saying that she will support me financially until we get on our feet and potentially then looking at resigning from my role, to now saying that the move doesnt feel like a long term thing and she would want to move back as she would miss the home comforts and that I will need to be careful to stick to the policy on the career break so that I can return to my old job in a year or two.

If my wife loved her role and her job wasnt still available here it would be a completely different story. My supervisor wants me back - the draw to return to a stable and well paid role VS the excitement of living in Canada is starting to win.

We are struggling to see the benefits now, having put all the hard work in, it seems like it was all for nothing and for a less wealthy life in Canada in comparison to our relatively successful life we had here in the UK.

Last edited by AJ_2021; Mar 13th 2021 at 9:28 am.
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Old Mar 13th 2021, 10:55 am
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Default Re: A Right Ol' Covid Conundrum - A Move Turned Sour

We moved over in 2015, came back in 2016 as I couldn’t settle. Massively regret coming back now and can see it was adjusting and acclimatising. I had the job to come back to as my safety net, I used it....I think if it hadn’t been there we would have stuck it out more.

jobs/workplace dynamic is very different in Canada, my husband found that people do the job they are paid to do, so if there was something they could do to support another role, often it wouldn’t be noticed and not done... he blew minds early on by suggesting one activity could do two activities in one and cover 2 jobs! Takes a lot of getting used to.

re the dog - can you take him as excess baggage? If it’s still something you can do the costs are £2-300 instead of £2-3000. Paperwork and vet activity is all explained on the Canadian websites for bringing animals in to the country (doesn’t apply for coming back though - that’s £££)

house - tenants lined up is brilliant - it gives you a 12 month chance to give it a go.

Canada house - sounds like you need to settle to find the house you want - first one is always a challenge as you don’t know things well enough.

job for you - can you go back to school during career break to up skill so you can become employable again?
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Old Mar 13th 2021, 11:16 am
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Default Re: A Right Ol' Covid Conundrum - A Move Turned Sour

Thanks for this, its good to get an insight of what it will be like if she returns. I am sure 90% of people who move over must have these doubts and wobbles.

Sometimes the tough calls need to be pushed through - especially when we have got this far. The easy and safe decision would be to bail.

The dog is become a right pain - it shouldnt be but it is. Mainly because we are so attached to him but it shouldnt be affecting our life decisions the way it is. No, airlines are not really offering much in terms of pet transport right now with the restrictions on flights, and the likes of Airpets and PetAir are the only way to do it. He could go to Vancouver direct, but this is of similar price, but psychologically may be the best way to overcome this hurdle. I did think about leaving our dog with a family member and see if we can get him on a direct flight in a month or so and see if the prices become more reasonable, but its hard to know what is around the corner next.

We applied for a reason, and going back to the old ways will feel like we have not tried our hardest to make it work - even if its' for 12 / 24 months - and with this timeframe at least we can always return to our old lives having achieved Canadian living albeit it temporarily.
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Old Mar 13th 2021, 11:23 am
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Default Re: A Right Ol' Covid Conundrum - A Move Turned Sour

Sorry to hear and although not in Canada myself now, it seems that if you don't see the benefits there is no point. Some will argue that every move takes time and the Covid situation isn't helping, but most people move for an improvement in their life. If you already have a decent life, good job, nice home at a lower cost, feel safe and are healthy etc., you've already achieved what most dream of.
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Old Mar 13th 2021, 11:43 am
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Default Re: A Right Ol' Covid Conundrum - A Move Turned Sour

For the dog - check various airlines for this info -
https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/...ance/pets.html

(should be able to get direct flight into Calgary which at least gets you to the right province!). I know Icelandair and KLM and westjet all offered the equivalent pre Covid.
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Old Mar 13th 2021, 3:42 pm
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Default Re: A Right Ol' Covid Conundrum - A Move Turned Sour

Unfortunately, no direct flights available to Calgary from London, no idea of when the direct flights will restart as they seem to push the direct flights back month on month.
I think the only option is Air Canada through an pet agent at the moment.
When we looked into Westjet, they stopped offering pet transport (think it was when they upgraded to a new plane model a year or so back) and have since completely stopped flying into Calgary from London for now
Same for Air Transat and for BA

In summary, now is not the time to move to Canada... especially with pets!

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Old Mar 13th 2021, 5:12 pm
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Default Re: A Right Ol' Covid Conundrum - A Move Turned Sour

Originally Posted by AJ_2021 View Post
Unfortunately, no direct flights available to Calgary from London, no idea of when the direct flights will restart as they seem to push the direct flights back month on month.
I think the only option is Air Canada through an pet agent at the moment.
When we looked into Westjet, they stopped offering pet transport (think it was when they upgraded to a new plane model a year or so back) and have since completely stopped flying into Calgary from London for now
Same for Air Transat and for BA

In summary, now is not the time to move to Canada... especially with pets!
You don't have to use an agent to transport the dog TO Canada unless it's oversized... apart from on BA
https://britishexpats.com/wiki/Transporting_Pets-Canada
Many airlines don't have direct flights during the winter months -

Air Transat - their flights from the UK are currently suspended - but they offer a free change / refund if you book by April 30th.
They have limited direct flights in June to Calgary : https://bookings.airtransat.com/ts-n...&pos=TS-B2C-GB
Pets, fee: https://www.airtransat.com/en-GB/Tra...d-service-dogs (if it's small enough you can take it in the cabin!)

Air Canada have direct flights in May onwards but limited dates: https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/...ance/pets.html
You don't have to use an agent on flight TO Canada
Flights from the U.K.: Pets are accepted for travel both in the cabin and in the baggage compartment.
Westjet have direct flights from May onwards.. https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/book-t...don-to-calgary but they don't accept pets from LGW
https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/travel-info/pets

British Airways require you to use their agent
.

Last edited by Siouxie; Mar 13th 2021 at 5:28 pm.
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Old Mar 13th 2021, 5:42 pm
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Default Re: A Right Ol' Covid Conundrum - A Move Turned Sour

Originally Posted by Siouxie View Post
You don't have to use an agent to transport the dog TO Canada unless it's oversized... apart from on BA....
.

Thanks for this. Over £2600 (we had a few quotes and some were closer to 3k) seems incredibly steep when you look at the ordinary pricing with AC doesnt it?!
Im sure we tried speaking with AC (the only feasible option right now) but they advised us to speak to an agent at this time, as they are running on covid protocols and procedures etc and are limited on their services, but may be wrong. We have had that much to sort I am getting myself confused with it all now.

By what you have said there, it could be prudent to leave pet with family until May and then get shipped avoid dreaded indirect flight. I have been following the flights and they seem to cancel alot of them as it gets nearer to time. I suppose it depends how covid pans out over the coming weeks and months (I have been saying that for the past 6 months mind!)


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Old Mar 13th 2021, 5:57 pm
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Default Re: A Right Ol' Covid Conundrum - A Move Turned Sour

Originally Posted by AJ_2021 View Post
Thanks for this. Over £2600 (we had a few quotes and some were closer to 3k) seems incredibly steep when you look at the ordinary pricing with AC doesnt it?!
Im sure we tried speaking with AC (the only feasible option right now) but they advised us to speak to an agent at this time, as they are running on covid protocols and procedures etc and are limited on their services, but may be wrong. We have had that much to sort I am getting myself confused with it all now.

By what you have said there, it could be prudent to leave pet with family until May and then get shipped avoid dreaded indirect flight. I have been following the flights and they seem to cancel alot of them as it gets nearer to time. I suppose it depends how covid pans out over the coming weeks and months (I have been saying that for the past 6 months mind!)
You may need to have someone travel with the dog.. or else you will need to use an agent. How big is it?
Winter flights are normally 'via' Toronto or Vancouver, they won't take a pet on a non direct flight normally, because of the potential for delays and time on the runway between flights - personally I wouldn't risk it.

Last edited by Siouxie; Mar 13th 2021 at 11:46 pm.
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Old Mar 13th 2021, 6:07 pm
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Default Re: A Right Ol' Covid Conundrum - A Move Turned Sour

Hes a quite a large spaniel so would have to go in the cargo hold. I will need to go to the hotel for my 3 day holiday so my wife would have to collect at cargo.
​​​​​​
ahh it's an added stress and an already very stressful situation. Yes I have no interest in indirect flights. We'll either think of a workaround or just pack in the idea, cut our losses, leave our PR lapse and move on in the UK.

Right now we are in such strange times, it's not like it's a normal process right now. Great respect to those who have done it, moved and complied with all the additional requirements and costs. It's a shame they won't allow PR to be extended due to the circumstances so that people can move back when it's safer.

Thanks for your advice.
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Old Mar 13th 2021, 6:55 pm
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Default Re: A Right Ol' Covid Conundrum - A Move Turned Sour

My two pennies worth: did you have really good solid reasons for wanting to move? If so, you may wish to revisit those to see if they still hold. Sounds to me like the "push" from the UK wasn't that strong, so what was the "pull" from Canada that overcame that?

If you don't have good reasons to move (good being your own definition - it is irrelevant whether anyone else thinks they are good), I think the answer is clear. Humiliation can be gotten over, and even be a valuable experience - moving over and it all going belly up, especially if you suspect it may not work to begin with, may take a long time to get over.

I have said on here before, I never thought the seasons would affect me but the lack of spring here does my head in. I sympathise with your wife.

All the best in your deliberations.
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Old Mar 13th 2021, 7:02 pm
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Default Re: A Right Ol' Covid Conundrum - A Move Turned Sour

Originally Posted by Tumbling_Dice View Post
My two pennies worth: did you have really good solid reasons for wanting to move? If so, you may wish to revisit those to see if they still hold. Sounds to me like the "push" from the UK wasn't that strong, so what was the "pull" from Canada that overcame that?

If you don't have good reasons to move (good being your own definition - it is irrelevant whether anyone else thinks they are good), I think the answer is clear. Humiliation can be gotten over, and even be a valuable experience - moving over and it all going belly up, especially if you suspect it may not work to begin with, may take a long time to get over.

I have said on here before, I never thought the seasons would affect me but the lack of spring here does my head in. I sympathise with your wife.

All the best in your deliberations.

It's strange, once we made the decision, we then had cold feet, but were encouraged by others to push on and through the elements of doubt as we'd been on about it for so long and planned for it for years - this would be our last chance.

You then start to notice things you take for granted and we started to become home sick before she even left for Canada.

Now the daffodils are in full bloom as well as other flowers in the garden, the grass is lush and green, there are lambs in the nearby fields, cows mooing, happy children can be heard again playing in the neaby village school, and I am left wondering, ARE WE ACTUALLY STARK RAVING MAD to leave this? We are lucky in many ways already, we have a house in a village, but are quite isolated from the wider british economy, but this has changed over the past 6-12 months with more opportunities opening up with 'work from home' options.
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Old Mar 13th 2021, 9:16 pm
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Default Re: A Right Ol' Covid Conundrum - A Move Turned Sour

Mate most people on here understand your dilemma. Although not during a global plague.

We went through the same thing. We waited 39 months for our PR application to be approved and then began questioning our decision. I applied for a Career break, which was refused. My boss later admitted they had refused it in the hopes it would put me off going (Police-HR logic). My wife was granted a year career break from M&S.

We brought a large cat with us as excess baggage, but I do not think airlines offer it any more. You may have to bite the bullet on that one. Friends of ours flew into Montreal and then drove with their dog after quarantine (yours not the dog) to Alberta. With kenneling and transport fees it was not cheap.

Once we arrived it took quite a while to get used to it. Canada is deceptive, it is a G8 country and very close in culture to the UK but in many ways it is backward. Employment is a good one. Getting even a foot in the door can be very difficult so well done to your wife. We do not really notice in the UK but we are omnicompetent in many work areas and have obtained the qualifications or training to go with it. Many people here are in senior positions because of nepotism, not qualification. It makes it difficult in recruiting and in progressing. Roles which are done by one person in the UK are spread over a dozen here. Initially it is daunting but it has a benefit in that once you are in a position it does not take a lot of effort to shine.

Employment law, or lack of it is a concern for persons employed.

I have previously posted about our experiences when we first got here, they were not good. I ended up setting up my own business and my wife works for Costco. It took us a while to settle in and come to terms with the differences here. That being said in terms of "was it worth it?" the answer is a definite yes. Our quality of life and financial standing far exceed what we would have had in the UK. Yet in the pre move and our first couple of years, if you had told me that I would have laughed in your face.

I do agree that the ability to thrive here does depend on what you want and to some degree your motivation in moving. I will not lie, we had a decent financial cushion but still found it amazingly hard in the first couple of years. Adjusting to our new life and not comparing it to the UK took us an age and I still do it every now and again. If your motivation is strong enough you will weather it, but it may take a while.

If you PM me I can put you in touch with some friends in Calgary or Edmonton and who can perhaps give you some assistance.

Good Luck
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Old Mar 14th 2021, 9:31 am
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Default Re: A Right Ol' Covid Conundrum - A Move Turned Sour

Originally Posted by Grimnorth View Post
Mate most people on here understand your dilemma. Although not during a global plague.

We went through the same thing. We waited 39 months for our PR application to be approved and then began questioning our decision. I applied for a Career break, which was refused. My boss later admitted they had refused it in the hopes it would put me off going (Police-HR logic). My wife was granted a year career break from M&S.

We brought a large cat with us as excess baggage, but I do not think airlines offer it any more. You may have to bite the bullet on that one. Friends of ours flew into Montreal and then drove with their dog after quarantine (yours not the dog) to Alberta. With kenneling and transport fees it was not cheap.

Once we arrived it took quite a while to get used to it. Canada is deceptive, it is a G8 country and very close in culture to the UK but in many ways it is backward. Employment is a good one. Getting even a foot in the door can be very difficult so well done to your wife. We do not really notice in the UK but we are omnicompetent in many work areas and have obtained the qualifications or training to go with it. Many people here are in senior positions because of nepotism, not qualification. It makes it difficult in recruiting and in progressing. Roles which are done by one person in the UK are spread over a dozen here. Initially it is daunting but it has a benefit in that once you are in a position it does not take a lot of effort to shine.

Employment law, or lack of it is a concern for persons employed.

I have previously posted about our experiences when we first got here, they were not good. I ended up setting up my own business and my wife works for Costco. It took us a while to settle in and come to terms with the differences here. That being said in terms of "was it worth it?" the answer is a definite yes. Our quality of life and financial standing far exceed what we would have had in the UK. Yet in the pre move and our first couple of years, if you had told me that I would have laughed in your face.

I do agree that the ability to thrive here does depend on what you want and to some degree your motivation in moving. I will not lie, we had a decent financial cushion but still found it amazingly hard in the first couple of years. Adjusting to our new life and not comparing it to the UK took us an age and I still do it every now and again. If your motivation is strong enough you will weather it, but it may take a while.

If you PM me I can put you in touch with some friends in Calgary or Edmonton and who can perhaps give you some assistance.

Good Luck

Cheers! I've just PM'd you..
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