Corrie and Hats


Had to share this with all my Brits in Calgary followers (some have seen on my personal page last week )… but bumped in to these two lads last Sunday, at the Calgary Arts hotel… they were super nice and ‘enjoying’ Calgary/western Canada , doing a tour of ‘questions and answers for Corrie fans :) and quick shout out and huge THANKS to Vicky Winder, one of our fellow brits here in Calgary, who made this fabulous hat for me (message me if any interested/wants details of her Esty store, or more details )

Alberta Health Care

"Health Advice" button

Alberta health care insurance plan:


When arriving in Alberta one of the first things you should do is apply for the Alberta Health Insurance plan. The Alberta health insurance plan covers most basic health-care services such as doctor visits, xrays, hospital etc. 

When applying for Alberta health Insurance you need to provide one of the following documentation from Citizenship and Immigration Canada along with identification such as your birth certificate or passport:

  •  Confirmation of permanent residence 
  •  Permanent Resident Card
  • Active work (minimum 6 months), study* or visitor* permit for Alberta

*Not all Alberta permits qualify the permit holder for health care insurance coverage in Alberta.

NOTE: All applicants must intend to reside in Alberta for 12 consecutive months.

For Alberta Health documentation requirements: 


For application and brochures for Alberta health care insurance plan: 


You can register for Alberta health Insurance plan at authorized registry agents across the province. Here is a link to the registered Agents: 


It is also recommended that you obtain private insurance when you arrive as there might be a waiting period before getting your health coverage. You also have to register for a family doctor but if you need a doctor before that you always use a walk-in clinic. Every time you visit a doctor or a specialist you will need to show them your health card. To look for updated lists of available GP’s call 1-866-408-5465 (LINK) or visit this website: 


Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) does not cover everything, e.g. prescriptions, eye exams, ambulance services, dental care etc. So it is recommended to get private SUPPLEMENTARY health insurance. A lot of the bigger companies provide health benefits for full time employees or you can apply for supplementary insurance for yourself and family from Alberta Blue Cross.

Alberta Blue cross is an affordable health care benefits carrier that will cover just about every type of health benefit, including prescription drugs, dental, vision care, preferred hospital accommodation, emergency medical travel, ambulance, home nursing and chiropractor, as well as life insurance and short and long term disability coverage for group plan members.


Here is a link for the Alberta Blue cross: 

Income Tax

TaxWhen you come to Canada you do have to file a yearly income tax return.  It is under the Income Tax Act that you file a income tax return for a year in which you have tax payable. Even if you have taxes withheld from your employer or you exceed the amount of tax you owe.

Here is an article from the Canada Revenue Agency for newcomers to Canada:

The following information applies only for the first tax year that you are a new resident of Canada for income tax purposes. After your first tax year in Canada, you are no longer considered a newcomer for income tax purposes.

If you immigrate to Canada, we consider you to have acquired (deemed acquisition) almost all your properties at fair market value on the day you immigrated. If you are re-establishing Canadian residency and you had a deemed disposition when you left Canada, see Dispositions of property.

Are you a newcomer to Canada?

You become a resident of Canada for income tax purposes when you establish significant residential ties in Canada. You usually establish these ties on the date you arrive in Canada.

Newcomers to Canada who have established residential ties with Canada may be:

  • persons in need of protection;
  • people who have applied for or received permanent resident status from Citizenship and Immigration Canada; or
  • people who have received “approval-in-principle” from Citizenship and Immigration Canada to stay in Canada.

If you were a resident of Canada in an earlier year, and you are now a non-resident, you will be considered a Canadian resident for income tax purposes when you move back to Canada and re-establish your residential ties.

What are residential ties?

Residential ties in Canada include:

  • a home in Canada;
  • a spouse or common-law partner (see the definition in the General Income Tax and Benefit Guide) and dependants who move to Canada to live with you;
  • personal property, such as a car or furniture; and
  • social ties in Canada.

Other ties that may be relevant include:

  • a Canadian driver’s licence;
  • Canadian bank accounts or credit cards; and
  • health insurance with a Canadian province or territory.

For more information about residency status, see Residency – Individuals or Interpretation Bulletin IT-221, Determination of an Individual’s Residence Status.

If you want an opinion about your residency status, complete and submit Form NR74, Determination of Residency Status (Entering Canada).

Your tax obligations

Do you have to file?

As a resident of Canada for income tax purposes for part or all of a tax year (January 1 to December 31), you must file a tax return if you:

  • owe tax; or
  • want to request a refund.

Even if you have no income to report or tax to pay, you may be eligible for certain payments or credits. In order to receive the following payments or credits, you must file an income tax return.

For more information, see “Do you have to file a return?” in the General Income Tax and Benefit Guide.

Which tax package?

As a newcomer to Canada, you should be aware that most individuals who reside in Canada file only one income tax return for the tax year, because the Canadian government collects taxes on behalf of all provinces and territories except the Province of Quebec.

For the tax year that you are a newcomer to Canada and for each tax year that you continue to be a resident of Canada for income tax purposes, use the General Income Tax and Benefit Package for the province or territory where you resided on December 31 of the tax year.

  • It is important to use the forms book for your province or territory because tax rates and tax credits are different in each province and territory.
  • If you live in the province of Quebec, you may need to file a separate provincial income tax return. For information about your provincial tax liability, contact Revenu Québec.

Filing due date

Generally, your income tax return has to be filed on or before:

  • April 30 of the year after the tax year; or
  • if you or your spouse or common-law partner carried on a business in Canada (other than a business whose expenditures are mainly in connection with a tax shelter), the return must be filed on or before June 15 of the year after the tax year.


A balance of tax owing must be paid on or before April 30 of the year after the tax year, regardless of the due date of the tax return.

What income must you report?

For the part of the tax year that you were not a resident of Canada

You pay Canadian income tax on Canadian source income.

For the part of the tax year that you were a resident of Canada

You have to report your world income (income from all sources, both inside and outside Canada) earned after becoming a resident of Canada for income tax purposes on your Canadian tax return.

For more information about income you have to report and credits you can ask for as a newcomer to Canada, see Pamphlet T4055, Newcomers to Canada.

Entitlement to benefits and credits

As a newcomer to Canada, you may be eligible for the goods and services/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit, the Canada child tax benefit (CCTB), and the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) payments in the year you became a resident of Canada.

What To Do In Calgary During Winter

Two rabbits in the snow-20c? -30? believe it or not Calgary in the winter can offer some incredible activities for you and your family. Winter is not a season to take lightly and yes it can be very cold and miserable if you are not prepared for the elements. If this is your first time experiencing winter here you will need to buy warm clothes and dress in layers. A typical day out in the winter at -20 degrees Celsius would mean you would require warm footwear (boots), snow pants and/or thermal underwear, two or three layers to protect your body (shirt, sweater, and jacket), a warm hat, and gloves or mittens.

For those who are not familiar with  Calgary it is a city that is located on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of 1100 metres (3500 feet) in southern Alberta. It’s northern  location and elevation affects the climate to a large degree. The winters here are very long and snow generally falls from October to May. Being on the eastern side of the mountains causes Calgary to be very dry, and the winters usually have less snow when compared to other parts of Canada. One amazing fact of the climate in Calgary are the Chinooks: These are warm winds that blow out of the Rockies that can cause a mid-winter day to warm up 30 degrees very suddenly. It breaks up the winter and this is unique to anywhere else in Canada. Variability is the key to understanding the climate in Calgary so be prepared.

Wondering what to do in Calgary during the winter? There are many fun activities you and your family can do while enjoying the winter. Among the activities you can include in your what to do in Calgary list are;

Sports Events - Hockey is the most popular sport in Canada with the Calgary Flames being the professional team located in the city and the Calgary hitmen are the junior team.  For ticket information to see the Calgary Flames: and for the Calgary hitmen: Also unlike soccer where the fans are separated, the fans all sit together at these events.

Skating, Skiing & Sledding Activities – Downhill skiing and snowboarding are fun activities with 4 major ski resorts within 1 to 2 hours driving distance from Calgary that include (Nakiska, Sunshine, Mt. Norquay, Lake Louise), and one smaller hill in Calgary (Canada Olympic Park – COP). Nakiska is a great hill to learn how to ski because it has a large beginner area, and COP is convenient and a good learners hill. Mt. Norquay also has tubing, which is a fun-filled experience riding down a hill in a rubber tube. Cross country skiing is another option and is available in the city at COP and many of the city’s parks.  Within 3 hours of driving you have world renowned resorts of kicking horse, Fernie and Panorama. Snow shoeing is an activity that is fun and has been present in Canada for hundreds of years. Kids also enjoy tobogganing (using a sledge) to slide down many local hills in the city. Ice skating is also available (indoor and outdoor) throughout Calgary. That is another great advantage if you live in a lake community (ask me) as they offer a lot of these activities.


Festivals and Activities

The Calgary Zoo has zoo lights during from the end of November to the start of January and features hot chocolate, fire pits, children’s activities and the display of 1.5 million twinkling lights. Santa also makes an appearance during Christmas.

The Calgary winter festival is an 11-day festival is held in early February to commemorate the 1988 Winter Olympics and all other winter activities. Music, entertainment, sports competitions, carnivals and children’s activities can all be found at the Calgary Winter Festival.

Calgary is an interesting and exciting city to visit all year round. It is packed with activities and events that will surely create memorable experience for your family and friends.

2014 Immigration Levels

Notice – Supplementary Information to the 2014 immigration levels plan

News from Citizenship and Immigration Canada:Welcome to Canada Sign, Toronto Pearson Int'l Airport

November 1, 2013 — In 2014, Canada will welcome between 240,000 and 265,000 new permanent residents who will contribute to the Canadian economy. The 2014 Immigration Levels Plan reinforces the Government of Canada’s commitment to jobs and economic growth. By increasing our immigration targets for 2014, we are working to address labour market needs and providing Canadian employers with the skilled workforce they need.Following the tabling of the 2013 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration on October 28, 2013, Citizenship and Immigration Canada is pleased to release details on its 2014 Immigration Levels Plan.

Image showing 2014 immigration levels plan by major category, described below
Text version: 2014 immigration levels plan by major category

Image showing 2014 immigration levels plan by major category: Economic (63.0% – 164 500), Family (26.1% – 68 000) and Humanitarian (10.9% – 28 400) classes.

Targeted 2014 numbers for each immigration program
Class Immigration program 2014 target
Economic classes Federal Skilled Workers (and Federal Skilled Trades) 47,300
Canadian Experience Class 15,000
Live-in Caregivers 17,500
Federal Business 6,000
Quebec Business 5,300
Quebec Skilled Workers 26,600
Provincial Nominees 46,800
Family class Spouses, Partners and Children (includes Public Policy) 48,000
Parents and Grandparents 20,000
Humanitarian class Protected Persons in Canada 7,500
Dependants Abroad 3,500
Government-Assisted Refugees 7,100
Visa Office Referred 500
Privately Sponsored Refugees 6,300
Public Policy – Federal Resettlement Assistance and Other 500
Humanitarian and Compassionate 3,000

2014 Levels Plan

261K Target (240K-265K)
Plan Type Low High Target
Economic Federal Skilled Workers (including Federal Skilled Trades) 41,500 47,800 47,300
Canadian Experience Class 14,000 15,000 15,000
Live-in Caregivers 14,400 17,500 17,500
Federal Business 6,000 7,400 6,000
Quebec Business 5,000 5,500 5,300
Quebec Skilled Workers 26,000 27,000 26,600
Provincial Nominees 44,500 47,000 46,800
Economic Total 151,400 167,200 164,500
Percentage Mix 63.1% 63.1% 63.0%
Family Spouses, Partners and Children (includes Public Policy) 45,000 48,000 48,000
Parents and Grandparents 18,000 20,000 20,000
Family Total 63,000 68,000 68,000
Percentage Mix 26.3% 25.7% 26.1%
Humanitarian Protected Persons in Canada 7,500 8,000 7,500
Dependants Abroad 3,500 4,000 3,500
Government-Assisted Refugees 6,900 7,200 7,100
Visa Office Referred 400 500 500
Privately Sponsored Refugees 4,500 6,500 6,300
Public Policy – Federal Resettlement Assistance 200 300 300
Public Policy – Other 100 200 200
Humanitarian and Compassionate 2,500 3,000 3,000
Humanitarian Total 25,600 29,700 28,400
Percentage Mix 10.7% 11.2% 10.9%
Permit Holders 0 100 100
OVERALL 240,000 265,000 261,000

A planning range is an estimate of the number of people CIC expects to admit each year, taking into account the differences in applicants’ behaviour both before applying and once they have received their visa (some applicants take longer than others to arrive in Canada from abroad after receiving their visa).

For each range, CIC also sets an admissions target. The work of CIC’s visa processing network is based on the admissions target so that admissions fall within the planning range. It is important to note that these are “planned” ranges and targets. Factors beyond CIC’s control can affect actual admission numbers, e.g. security issues that impact overseas processing.

photo by: Cohen.Canada

Federal skilled workers

Have your education assessed – Federal skilled workers

News from Citizenship and Immigration Canada:


Starting in May 2013, all people applying under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) must get an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) of their completed foreign educational credentials.If you are only submitting a Canadian educational credential, you do not need to do this.

An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is used to verify that your foreign degree, diploma, certificate (or other proof of your credential) is valid and equal to a completed credential in Canada.

You must have such an assessment if you:

  • are a principal applicant, and
  • got your education outside Canada.

Your education must be assessed against Canadian standards by one of the organizations designated by CIC (below).

When you apply as a federal skilled worker with a foreign educational credential, an original ECA report must:

  • be included with your application along with proof of your foreign credential,
  • be issued on or after the date the organization was designated by CIC,
  • not be more than five years old on the date that CIC gets your application, and
  • show your credential is equal to a completed Canadian one.

If you do not submit this assessment when you apply, your application is not complete. We will not process it and will send it back to you.

These assessments are to help make sure we choose immigrants with the best possible chances of success in Canada. But, being assessed does not guarantee you will be employed in your field or at a certain level. Employers are not bound by the assessment.

If you plan to work in an occupation that is regulated in Canada, you should contact the regulatory authority in the province where you plan to live. They can give you important information about getting your license, including any steps you can take before you leave your home country.

photo by: Sean MacEntee