Monday, February 28, 2011
Picking up on an article in this month’s BritClub Gazette (news in brief, UK Mortgage and Housing market set for further drops), are the next couple of years going to be a great opportunity for British immigrants in Canada who are thinking of moving back to the UK? It seems that the housing market in Canada has been fairly stable over the last couple of years whilst the UK market has tumbled. If prices keep falling I see a great opportunity to pick up cheap property. This is enhanced by the great exchange rate when moving from Canadian dollars to Stirling. Furthermore, if you came over to Canada more than five years ago you would have got an equally great exchange rate coming this way! It strikes me as a very good opportunity to make the move pay by investing in a home in the UK.
Why are U.S. border guards such stone faced, “jobs worth”, humourless wankers. Just about every time I cross the border into the states there is a problem. The latest incident was last week when I crossed the border at the main crossing point Autoroute 15/I87. I crossed with my two sons and initially everything was good; there was hardly any traffic, the initial check went without incident and we filled out the green visa cards in good time and didn’t have to wait for an hour to do it - so far so good.
It then came to the time where we had to pay our $6.00 each to cross the border. When I first emigrated over here just over six years ago I had been caught out at the border because they didn’t accept credit cards then. However, since the old days the border has actually caught up to the 21st century and a couple of years ago they started to accept Visa and MasterCard. So, instead of changing Canadian into US cash I thought I would simply cross the border using my credit card and go to an ATM in the States to keep things simple. So the guard swipes my card, but nothing happened. Incidentally, I had used the card not 15 minutes before to buy enough petrol to get me across the border. The guard tried again; nothing. I told her I had just used it but, in that irritating, officious tone that only border guards can muster, she informed me that that was in Canada and I was in the USA now; obviously in the USA the equipment is far superior (Apart from the this one of course.)
It was then my son said that he had 15 U. S dollars on him. We offered this but, of course, we were a whole $3.00 short so totally unacceptable. The guard then told the boys to sit down and wait and I had to follow her outside. She pointed up to the top of the hill to the Canadian duty free store and, although it was around -12oC, told me to walk up to the store, change some Canadian into US (At a totally rip off exchange rate) and then come back and pay cash. Believe it or not she would have seriously refused us entry into the USA for the sake of $3.00 just because their machine was not working. As soon as we got across the border not more than 5 minutes later we stopped for some food and used the card with no problem whatsoever. Where do they get these people?
- www.britclub.ca was conceived and designed in 2006 by Mick McCafferty who emigrated to St-Lazare, Quebec from Nottingham, England in 2004 with his wife and three children. The purpose of the site is primarily to provide help advice and support to British immigrants in, or about to move to, Canada. Mick also publishes the BritClub Gazette periodically to keep British immigrants informed.