News direct from the British Consulate in Calgary

English: no original description

English: no original description (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

News direct from the British Consulate in Calgary


Press Release: Tuesday 6 August 2013




The British Government is making important changes to the passport service for British nationals living overseas. From 12 August 2013, the application process will be centralised and British nationals in Canada should submit their passport application to Her Majesty’s Passport Office in the UK.

This important change follows reviews by the National Audit Office and is designed to achieve economies of scale, greater security and consistency in decision making. All British passports have enhanced sophisticated security features designed to reduce the likelihood of identity theft and passport fraud.

Notes for Editors

Before 12 August, British nationals living in Canada submitted passport applications to a regional processing hub in Washington, United States. From 12 August, information on the UK Government website will advise British nationals on the new passport application process.

All the information required to make an application will be found at Applicants will be required to send their applications to the Passport Customer Service Centre in Durham. There will be no change to processing times.

Fees charged to British nationals applying overseas are based on the current costs of providing the service. As overseas volumes are much less than UK volumes it is harder to gain efficiencies overseas. That is why we have taken the decision to repatriate the issuing of passports to British nationals overseas to the UK. Once this has been completed Her Majesty’s Passport Office will be seeking to create closer alignment between the two sets of fees.


For further information:

Nathan Skolski

Head of Media and Public Affairs

Tel: 613-364-6131

Cell: 613-327-0928

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The tipping culture in Canada

So I have been asked this  question a few times now, about the tipping culture in Canada, and so thought it would make a good article.

Note,  this is in reference to Calgary- but is similar, as far as I know,  across the country (but let me know if you have had a different experience of this)

So  the ‘servers’  (waiters and waitress’s)  get paid minimum wage and so they  ’rely’ quite heavily on their tip to top up their salary . In bars and restaurants, all food/beverage prices  that are posted don’t include ‘service’ (unlike UK where it is embedded) so… its hard to get used to having to pay it at first. Also  it is apparently ‘discretionary’ but is usually between 10 and 20% but 15% is typically the  ’usual’.  It is usually fairly easy to work out though, because the GST  (VAT equivalent) , for Alberta is 5% (again is added- not already included)- so  usually just x the GST by 3 and do that as a tip.

Note- though, that in some restaurants or bars, if it is a group of 6 or more- they often say it is minimum 15% or sometimes 18% and that it is added automatically to the bill- MOST will tell you about it when they give you the bill- but not all!!

In Taxi’s  I am not sure what the ‘expected’ is- i usually round it up to the next 0 or 5 depending on the length of journey, time etc.

At petrol pumps, some of them have full service pumps, where the guys will fill the car, wash front screen/check washer fluid etc- but note tip is NOT  required here….

For bell boys etc, if they help with luggage, I usually do $1 /piece. For other services, eg spa/beauty/hair etc I believe it is discretionary but I now use a salon with a no tipping policy, so I don’t feel quite so ‘uncomfortable’!! Note I did do some research to get a ‘Canadian’s view’ regarding Canadian tipping policies, and this is from a Bar,  in the South, called the Windsor Rose (which by the way, allows children in during the day on a Sunday- and offers a good brunch menu at the weekends too) … what it should be- and this was the response-

Tips don’t end at providing wages for just your server… the kitchen staff preparing your meals, the bartender pouring your drinks, the host greeting you at the door and expediters running your food orders all receive a portion of the gratuity you leave behind. Costs towards broken dishes and lost cutlery are also covered with gratuities. Some guests are unaware that by not leaving a gratuity, your server is actually paying to serve you at the end of the day. This is because the allocated portion to his or her colleagues is due no matter how much is left by the costumer. Tipping in Canada is calculated at 15 – 20% of the total bill. Auto-gratuities only occur on large parties to ensure the server will not suffer a large loss after service.
So as you can see, it is actually a bit more in depth than we would first think- and while it is still deemed to be discretionary, by realising the reasoning for it, and being aware that is is not included in the price of the food- hopefully  can make it a little easier and less awkward, when its time to ‘pay’!

Why Emigrate to Canada? Top 5 Reasons

Canada is a country found in North America that consists of ten provinces with three territories, and it is considered as the second largest country in the world. Though it is the second largest country, its population rate is still considered to be one of the lowest in the world. This fact, however, doesn’t stop Canada from flourishing and becoming one of the best places to live in. That is why immigration to Canada been very popular and for a good reason. Here are the top 5 reasons: why emigrate to Canada.


The main reason as to why emigrate to Canada is because of the economy. The economy of Canada is so advanced; thus, most of its citizens enjoy a high quality of life based on world standards. Canada is highly incorporated into the global market through trade, with more than 30% of its GDP completely dedicated to export. Canada is considered to have the lowest debt in the G-8 economic partnership of industrialized nations. The labor and employment ratio in Canada is one of the highest in the world, which can be very convenient for immigrants, citizens and permanent residents


Healthcare in Canada is one the best in the world as well. Canada provides its citizens and permanent residents the needed healthcare without considering their income level. Most provinces in Canada provide healthcare free of charge since the healthcare system is funded mostly by the government and private companies. Senior citizens avail pharmaceutical products for free. There is also an extensive social security that provides for unemployment insurance, senior citizen pension and family allowance.


The educational system in Canada is highly advertized internationally. Canada offers free primary and secondary education and college education is funded. Canada specializes and spends more on education compared to other nations. Universities and Colleges in Canada have great reputation internationally due to the high quality of their graduates.


Culture in Canada is one of the most diverse in the world. The population in Canada is composed of residents from all walks of life. The immigration rate in Canada is also one of the highest in the world and it is no mystery why the culture is so diverse. Majority of the population is of European ancestry, but a minority of Asian and Slavic descents are also noticeable.

Crime Rate

Crime rate in Canada is one of the world’s lowest. Compared to its neighboring countries, Canada’s crime record is significantly lower. This may be the result of the countrywide gun laws, fair justice system and community policing. This would make Canada safe and secure for its residents.

Why emigrate to Canada? These are some of the reasons why. The climate in Canada may mostly be bitter winter but that can’t stop anyone from enjoying the benefits of migrating to this great country. Canada is one of the oldest and best destinations for immigration for some time now. Overall, Canada can provide any immigrant with a bright future due to its healthcare system, quality education, low crime rate, diverse culture and most of all a great economy.

The Best Places to Live in Canada

Canada is renowned as one of the best countries to emigrate to. This is due to its great economy, extensive healthcare system, highly regarded education system, and low crime rate. Still, as Canada is the second largest country in the world, finding the right place for you could be a difficult task.  Here are some of the best places to live in Canada.

Considered to be one of the best places to live in Canada is Toronto. Toronto is the largest city in Canada and is known to be the business capital of Canada. Since it is one of the centers for businesses, it provides more employment than other places which is suitable for immigrants and its citizens. Toronto rates as one of the most livable cities in the world. With a large population, Toronto is proclaimed as one of the most diverse in terms of culture. With this great proportion of population and a wide array of culture, Toronto is by far one of the safest cities to live in.

Another great place in Canada is Ottawa. As the capital city of Canada, Ottawa is home of federal agencies and embassies from foreign countries. It is known to be one of the places to have more highly educated workforce as compared to other cities. This city is also home of large electronic and telecommunication companies which provides employment for its citizens. On top of that, Ottawa is also known to be one of the least expensive cities in Canada. Most of all, Ottawa is considered to be the cleanest city in Canada.

Vancouver can also be one the lead destinations in Canada for UK immigrants. This city has been known to be included in various rankings in the previous years as one of the world’s most livable places. The city has one of the mildest climates in Canada and is considered as the greenest city in Canada. Vancouver is surrounded by water and snowy mountains, which means that there is always a lot of things you can do in this city. The government of Vancouver is very particular about the environment. Despite of the need for constant development, it is still conscious about the environment as it encourages a green platform that includes the development of green buildings and technology. You might want to be in this city for a long time as it seeks to be the greenest city by 2020.

Calgary is another hot contender, as it typically ranks in the TOP 5 of  The Economist’s World’s Most Liveable Cities 2011. Calgary is in the province of Alberta, which enjoys the benefits of the Oil and Gas business, e.g. higher average income, low un-employment and lowest provincial Tax rate in the country at just 5%. Also know for its ‘blue skies’, Calgary ranks highest for most days of sunshine, in Canada, at average 333 days/year. Being just an hour from the Rocky Mountains, it does get its fair share of snow- but with the warming Chinook winds that come in, and its blue skies, make the winter’s more tolerable.

These are only some of the best places to live in Canada but generally, Canada provides its immigrants and permanent citizens the best quality of life. This is because of the economic advantage brought about by their superb healthcare system, terrific economy and astounding educational system. With the healthcare system, citizens get to avail free healthcare and medicine. The economy of Canada is one of the best in the world that 30% of its GDP is through export. In terms of labor and employment, Canada is by far one of the best in the world as it provides its citizens the right employment and the opportunity to achieve their ideal quality of life. The educational system of Canada is well renowned globally and provides its graduates with the competence needed to be at par with the best in the world.

5 Tips for Moving to Canada from UK

Canada is the second largest country in the world. It has been known to be one of the leading countries for people who want to migrate and enjoy the quality of life it provides. With the great advantage of a great economy, extensive healthcare system, low crime rate and one of the best education systems in this side of the globe, it’s not a mystery why Canada is one of the most livable countries to migrate to. Here are some pointers to remember when moving to Canada from UK.

1. Familiarize Yourself with Canada

When moving to Canada from UK you should first familiarize yourself with your destination. Canada is one big country and it would be wise to know specifically where you’re going. You should know the living conditions in that specific place like the landscape, the various people you may encounter and the climate. Choosing the right settlement is a major factor that may determine your future and quality of life. Make sure that your destination can provide you with the right living condition, job opportunities and the right climate that will suit your lifestyle. Before moving out, make sure to take note of at least three destinations in Canada and do your research.

2. Plan a Research Trip

Once you have determined your destination spots, take time to either make a quick trip or visit the place. This will provide you with an overview of what to look forward to in the future. By doing this you will be able to familiarize yourself with the living conditions and you might be able to see job opportunities that will suit you.

3. Prepare Yourself Mentally

Once you have picked and arrived at your chosen place of settlement, prepare for some changes to happen. The feeling of stress and homesickness will be prevalent for the first few months. To overcome this, try to interact more with people in your community, this will make adaptation more quick and easy. Try to enjoy every bit of everyday in your new place. Prepare for culture shock as it will happen since the diversity of people can be overwhelming.

4. Obtain Your Health Card

Now that you are completely settled in, it is best to avail of the services that Canada has to offer. Once you have gotten a job and your children are all settled in your school of choice, make sure to avail of the health insurance that Canada provides. Get a health card so that you and your family can avail of Canada’s extensive healthcare system. There may be some slight variations in Canada’s healthcare system, depending on the province, but it is worth getting one as you may never know when you might need it.

5. Be Prepared

It is never too much to be too prepared as it is a good insurance for all, especially when moving from another country. Do your research well and prepare for things to come. Start by learning basic facts about Canada like the weather, holidays, currency, taxes and simple information that may help your day to day life in Canada.

Great Tips when applying for jobs in Canada

jobs in canada


If you are looking to apply for jobs in Canada, you need to be aware that they don’t use ‘CV”s here, it is a ‘Resume’ ( can be pronounced  res-zoo-may  or res-you -may) and note there are a few differences, in that Resumes tend not to have quite as much detail- see below for a great article by an English recruitment manager, living and working in Calgary  :


Tips on Writing a Resume:

There are a lot of different ways to write a resume and plenty of tips on the internet on what to include or avoid in the document.  What you must remember is the purpose of the resume is to give you a start towards getting the interview you want.  It is a personal marketing tool that you will use to summarize and highlight your skills and experience.  Once you are at the interview that is your opportunity to elaborate on your background.


When moving to Calgary, the first thing I would suggest is to speak to somebody that is working in the industry sector you are aiming for before to get their advice specific information to include. Secondly, think about what type of job you are applying for.  If it is a permanent position you should think that the employer will want to see how your career has developed to show your potential.  If it is a temporary or contract role then it may be better to highlight skills you have and your adaptability.

What to include in your resume:

Ensure that you put your full name and contact details including your telephone numbers and email address at the top of the first page.  Soon after that, you will need to state what the position is that you want to apply for and your career objectives. Then highlight a couple of achievements that relate closely to the job you are applying for.

When writing about your employment history it is very important to put the information in reverse chronological order so your most recent job is at the top.  Follow this rule when you are writing about education, training and courses you have attended that are relevant to the industry sector you are in.

In regards to describing the job duties, it does not want to read like a full job description.  It should be factual and show off your main responsibilities in the position.

Try and convert English terminology into the Canadian equivalent – for example, change pound values to dollar values. To find out more about this, speak to people in your industry to find out other language differences. (or send us a message at and we can try and help/offer suggestions…. )

What not to include in your resume:

Your resume is a positive reflection of your abilities and experience so do not put on there anything that could be seen in a negative light. For example poor grades you have received. If you have had a bad experience with a past employer, I would recommend including the information on the resume and highlight the positive aspects of the position.  Do not leave employment gaps as this will raise questions by the potential employer.

You do not at this stage have to include a list of references, do not put a photograph on the resume unless it is applicable to the industry sector you are in (modeling or acting) and there is no need to list hobbies and interests on the resume either.

In Canada, there is also no requirement to add your date of birth, marital status or gender.

In terms of the format of the resume, try to stick to one font and an easy to read layout.  Also, any spelling mistakes on the resume will immediately put off an employer so make sure you use the spell checker!

Remember, you have around 20 – 40 seconds to impress the person reviewing your resume due to the volume of these they see everyday so first impressions count. Your resume should be about 2 pages long; however it is most important to make sure that the first page has current and relevant information on it.  If the recruiter or employer doesn’t like what they see on the first page, they are never going to look any further.

If you are looking for further help and guidance on this, please contact Hays Specialist Recruitment on 403 269 4297.

Ellisa Nuttall

Manager - Calgary

Recruiting experts in Construction

HAYS Recruiting experts worldwide


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Suite 660 – 630-6th Avenue SW

Hays is the proud sponsor of the Job Board at Buildex 2012 – Meet us at the Edmonton Expo Centre, Northlands on March 20th – 21st 2012


 Thank you Ellisa for sharing this useful information about Resumes- one of  many  things  its helps to be aware of, when applying for jobs in Canada.