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Businesses The Almighty Buck

Why Offshore When Canada's Next Door? 1111

Roblimo writes "A study by accounting and consulting giant PriceWaterhouseCoopers claims Canada could lose up to 75,000 IT jobs by 2010 to offshore outsourcing, but could also *gain* 165,000 jobs through U.S. outsourcing contracts. The trick is, according to this story at IT Manager's Journal, that while Indian, Chinese, and Russian programmers may cost 80% less than U.S. programmers, the time zone, language, legal, and other problems involved with sending work half way around the world can eat up much of the labor savings, while Canadian programmers are nearby, speak English with nearly American accents, have a similar culture and legal system, and get paid 40% less than U.S. programmers. Might be time to think about moving North, eh?"
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Why Offshore When Canada's Next Door?

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  • by FractusMan ( 711004 ) * on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:10AM (#9716355)
    I work for MSN - MSN which is not offered in Canada, but most of the tech support sites (or so it seems) are located here in Canada.
  • by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:10AM (#9716357) Homepage
    I am not willing to move north to get a job that pays 40% less than what is available here. I'd rather work outside my field.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      paid 40% and taxed 50%!
    • by Grey Ninja ( 739021 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:13AM (#9716391) Homepage Journal
      As a Canadian, I have to say that I'm not here for the money. Yeah, it's a little disturbing that I get paid much less than an American does, but it doesn't bother me THAT much. What really matters to me is that I get paid to do something that I enjoy. And I happen to really enjoy the practice of programming. I will go to where I can get the job I will enjoy the most, regardless of pay, so long as I have enough to take care of myself.
      • by ViolentGreen ( 704134 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:32AM (#9716722)
        What really matters to me is that I get paid to do something that I enjoy.

        Yes. That truely is what matters. Am I correct in supposing the cost of living in Canada is similar to that of the Northern US? I'm sure it is significantly less then tech-heavy places like California.

        If US companies are considering outsourcing to Canada, it seems like they could try other places in the US where they could hire people for less then in California or NY.

        I live in Lexington, Ky which, despite being in a state with an agriculture based economy, has a fairly large tech community. Some big name companies here are IBM and Lexmark (LEXmark LEXington.) I read somewhere where Lexington is ranked 9th in US cities in percentages of persons with at least a Bachelors degree. It's a city where you can live lavishly or have a quiet and comfortable life. Hey, I've even seen Shatner in a coffee shop here.

        I think there are still lots of opportunities in the US before the Canada route is taken. There are places other then the West Coast available for programming/tech jobs.
        • Am I correct in supposing the cost of living in Canada is similar to that of the Northern US? I'm sure it is significantly less then tech-heavy places like California.

          Not as such. Just as there is cost of living diversity among states and cities in the U.S., there are differences among provinces and even cities therein.

          Here in Alberta (debt-free province, no provincial sales tax, top 3 IT hubs in Canada), cost of living and wages are approximately 10-15 per cent less than in Toronto, Ontario. However, se
    • by dnoyeb ( 547705 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:13AM (#9716395) Homepage Journal
      What if the cost of living was close to 40% less?

      Think of Canada as another state. Except that while they tax you in Canada, they actually seem to do something with the tax dollars besides 'defence' spending.
      • by madprogrammer ( 214633 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:24AM (#9716593)
        Exactly... My guess is that that "40% less" is not 40% less than all states... just the ones that pay a lot, like California.

        But since the cost of living is so high in L.A. and San Fran things start to work out. From what I've seen living in both countries is that dollar for dollar many items are the same price or at least close. An American $499 Dell is Canadian $550. An American $2.00 loaf of bread is $1.00 Canadian.

        My standard of living will not be changing too much when I move from the States to Canada. Even though I'm taking a pay cut.
        • by spuke4000 ( 587845 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:48AM (#9716976)
          I'm a software developer in Toronto, my brother is a developer in Sunnyvale, CA. He has 2 years more experience than me, but is comparable in skill and experience. He makes 30-40% more (30% now, but that's because the Canadian dollar is doing better against the $US) and pays 5-10% more for rent. The cost of living is higher in the states, but if you are living in a big city in Canada (Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, not so much Montreal) the cost of living isn't that much lower.
        • 40% less problably refers partly to the exchange difference, party to the fact that you have Cali skewing your stats. The cost of living and high average wage makes the average US wage seem much higher. Also cost of living here is much less.
        • by RobinH ( 124750 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:25PM (#9717531) Homepage
          Exactly... My guess is that that "40% less" is not 40% less than all states... just the ones that pay a lot, like California.

          Try using the International Salary Calculator [], it's handy. According to that, if you made $80,000 USD in San Francisco, you'd need to make just over $60,000 USD in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (a.k.a. "Silicon Valley North") to enjoy the same standard of living. Also, Ottawa is one of the top 5 most expensive places to live in Canada.

          The biggest difference, of course, is that housing is cheaper in Canada, and so is food. You save a LOT on your medical expenses, since Americans spend on average $5400 USD per year on medical expenses, and Canadians only spend about $3500 on average, (if I remember correctly), but get better care than the average American, though I suppose not as nice as the richest.

          Also, depending on the province you live in, you can save a lot of money if they have non-profit government run auto insurance. As well, automobiles themselves are cheaper, even ones built on the same assembly line. If you want to check, go to and do a "build your own vehicle", then do the same exact thing on, and compare the final MSRPs. You have to do the conversion for the exchange, but it's much cheaper in Canada, even with the higher tax rate.

          Gas is more expensive in Canada (about 25% higher, depending) due to taxes, but the cities are smaller, so you tend to spend less time commuting. Other things taxed more are alcohol and cigarettes, but that's supposed to help pay for the health care. Might as well be the drinkers and smokers that carry the burden there, eh? :-)

          Food is cheaper in Canada, but clothing is more expensive. Electronics are more expensive, but you can always get a buddy to pick something up for you in the U.S. at cheaper prices.

          Broadband internet access is generally wider spread in Canada, and cheaper, because Canadians are more urban than our American counterparts.

          Income tax itself isn't that much different anymore, though it used to be. I know for certain, since I have to file both. I'm a computer engineer, and I find that I would pay the same in either country, within a couple hundred dollars. Sales tax, of course, is higher in Canada.

          If you're right leaning, you can always move to Alberta, which is a booming wild west place. If you'd prefer the government pay your way, there's always the east coast, and if you're a greenpeace member, there's always the west coast. If you're an accountant, then you'll be at home in Ontario, but Quebec's always close by for those big let-your-hair-down parties. In particular, if you can't shovel snow, Toronto's the place for you, because if it ever snows more than 3 cm, they'll declare a state of emergency and call the army in to shovel your driveway for you.

          Just to be fair... Manitoba's population density is 1.9 people per square kilometre and if your dog runs away there, you can still see him running 3 days later, and Saskatchewan is a cooler version of Arizona (dog thing also applies, but the dog will probably be eaten alive by grasshoppers by the 3rd day).
    • Cost of Living (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      That depends. If cost of living is equivalent, or better, then I wouldn't mind it at all. If a house costs 85,000 instead of 220,000 (standard here in AZ), then I'd take that cut in pay.

      This is why people are leaving California. Cost of Living. They may make 100,000 a year, but have to pay 450,000 for a 1 bedroom 1 bath 'house'- with no yard or garage.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:15AM (#9716438)
      You also have to consider that while getting paid less, your cost of living could also be drastically reduced in Canada as well. I used to live in LA and made double than what I do now, but after moving back to Canada, my cost of living is 1/3 of what it used to be. Plus here I don't have to be paranoid about not using ATMs after dark. Of course, I will be a bit biased since I am Canadian.
    • by count0 ( 28810 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:15AM (#9716443)
      Well, the cost of living is also around 40% less (or close enough - sometimes less, sometimes more). Toronto and Vancouver are more spendy than Ottawa, Montreal, or Calgary. But you can have a very nice lifestyle making 40% of a New York or San Jose salary in those three cities. Even more so in places like Edmonton, Regina, or Winnipeg.

      One challenge would be paying any US debt load (student loan, US car payment, credit card debt) with Canadian dollars.
      • by Dr Caleb ( 121505 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:25AM (#9716607) Homepage Journal
        KPMG (the accounting firm) rated Edmonton as the #1 place to live in the western hemisphere as far as quality of living, tax levels, housing prices and job market.

        It's no wonder why we're home to Bioware, Quicken, and large support centers for General Electric and Hewlett Packard.

    • by ploppy ( 468469 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:15AM (#9716447)
      You miss the point. The choice is between earning 40%+ less doing something else, or earning 40% less by moving north. The high paying IT job is gone.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:12AM (#9716373)
    Okay, type su, eh?
    % sua
    sua: Command not found
    • You're joking but ...

      I once was involved in a tech support call while I was in the US (I was doing the calling) where I was asked to spell out a username that had a "z" in it. Being Canadian, I used "zed". Every time I said "zed", the tech support woman said "What?".

      I felt pretty dumb once I realized the issue.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:13AM (#9716389)
    Although our legal system is "similar", we lack equivalents to silly little things like the DMCA and the Patriot Act.

    On the other hand, we're responsible for Celine Dion. On behalf of all Canadians, I apologize profusely.
    • ... You guys have no limit for your evil. Can I move to Canada?
    • by asoap ( 740625 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:03PM (#9717162)
      With our military the way it is...

      Celine Dion is our weapon of mass destruction!

      Heck, if we ever attack a country, she's on the front line singing her heart out. After one of her Monster Ballots, we just walk in with our hockey sticks and Zambonies and clean up the enemies. We don't need fancy things like short range tactical missles, or ugh.. tanks, guns, ammunition.

      Actually, on a serious note, I like it that we don't spend anything on military. In the simpson's they used the joke (excuse me if I get this wrong):

      Scorpio: "What country do you like the least, Italy or France"

      Homer: "France"

      Scorpio: "No one ever says Italy"

      Then Scorpio blows up France. Well I like it that to the rest of the world Canada = Italy. The U.S. = France.

      I can just imagine terrorist meeting... "Guys what country do you like the least? Canada or the US?"


  • Always a good thing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dsanfte ( 443781 ) * on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:13AM (#9716396) Journal
    As a Canadian in the IT industry, I'd be glad to see more jobs coming here, definitely. There really is very little difference between Americans and Canadians, besides cultural and political systems. None of that plays into how you sound over the phone, or how well you code.

    Canada really is the ideal place for US companies to outsource. If you have a Roadrunner cable modem and have ever called tech support, chances are you've been talking to someone at a local Ottawa firm called Convergys. I bet you never knew it, either.
    • #ifdef NITPICK

      Strictly speaking, Convergys is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is the result of what happended when a firm called CBIS aquired, merged and otherwise assimilated variety of other firms then changed its name. CBIS (Cincinnati Bell Information Systems) was, as the name implies, a spin-off of the local telephone company.

      They are no doubt taking advantage of wage advantages described in the article.


  • by Cavio ( 217880 ) <> on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:13AM (#9716402) Homepage
    It seems that the whole "Land of the Free, Home of the Brave" has been outsourced to Canada. While we fight our war on drugs, Canada has sane drug laws. While we meddle in the affairs of every nation on Earth, Canada just keeps on making beer.

    Beer == Good.

    So, bring it on. Outsource me to Canada. I'll move there, what with their reasonable immigration policies, and shack up with a burly lumberjack babe and start my life anew.
  • by luckytroll ( 68214 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:14AM (#9716405) Homepage
    Outsourcing to Canada has been going on for a while, mostly because of Canada's trusted status in matters of security. Even the evil Haliburton corporations big clusters are now living happily in Toronto along with dozens of others. I should know - I installed them - (and my karma aches for it)
  • by HBI ( 604924 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:14AM (#9716409) Journal
    Everyone talks about first-time unemployment claims, but very few take the time to track what happens to the unemployed over time. Ditto for outsourcing projects. Most of the ones i've heard of or been involved with were ultimately cancelled due to incongruent labor laws, time differences, language barriers, quality control issues, et al.

  • heh (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mr_Silver ( 213637 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:14AM (#9716410)
    speak English with nearly American accents

    <obligatory British joke>
    So they pronouce English slightly better then? ;)
    </obligatory British joke>

  • by Cycline3 ( 678496 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:14AM (#9716414) Homepage
    Why not outsource to me in West Virginia...? I work cheaper than all of them combined. There are plenty of people in the USA who will work for less - it's better than no work at all.
    • by kmankmankman2001 ( 567212 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:41AM (#9716877)
      Why not outsource to me in West Virginia...? Probably afraid of the language barrier. :)
    • Or to Michigan (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Brian Stretch ( 5304 ) *
      Or to pretty much anywhere in America besides the People's State of California.

      I almost headed out to Silicon Valley during the boom, but after considering that state taxes are literally double what they are here in Michigan, the cost of housing is 2+ times as much, traffic is worse, people expect you to work way longer hours, and federal taxes are going to bite down hard on that extra marginal income, I figured: what's the point?

      Plus I never did get the hang of Spanish...

      Oh yeah, the weather. Well, the
  • by Greenisus ( 262784 ) <michael.mayotech@com> on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:14AM (#9716422) Homepage
    You'll have to learn the Canadian alphabet:

    A, ay!, B, ay!, C, ay!, D, ay! . . . .

    /thanks, don't forget to tip the bar

  • by TimTheFoolMan ( 656432 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:16AM (#9716457) Homepage Journal
    While it's true that the accents are "nearly the same," there are *some* diffs that will creep in.

    BTW, even the McDonald's in Ottawa would offer gravy on their fries. Gravy on McDONALD'S FRIES??? What is this heresy?

  • by michael path ( 94586 ) * on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:16AM (#9716462) Homepage Journal
    So, for 40% less than what I'm currently making, I could live in a nation that gives a crap about hockey [], has a much smaller crime rate, has major domestic beers that don't taste like piss [], and a health care system available to all its citizens?

    Where can I sign up? Really.
    • by gosand ( 234100 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:44AM (#9716924)
      a health care system available to all its citizens?

      My wife has family all over Canada, and I can tell you that from their experiences, the healthcare system isn't all that great. While everyone has coverage, it can be pretty tough to get in to see a doctor. Things take longer because their system is swamped. And I remember something about how the banking industry isn't that good up there, so you don't get decent interest rates. Or something like that, I can't remember. I just meant to say that it is no "wonderland", they do have their own issues.

      But damn, are they polite up there. We went there on our honeymoon, took a 2 day tour on the Rocky Mountaineer []. When we were pulling out of the station in Vancouver, there was graffiti sprayed on a nearby overpass. What did it say?
      "Welcome to Vancouver".
      Cracked my ass UP. Victoria was absolutely beautiful, I would move there in a second if I thought I could find a job.

      • And I remember something about how the banking industry isn't that good up there, so you don't get decent interest rates. Or something like that, I can't remember. I just meant to say that it is no "wonderland", they do have their own issues.

        Wow, now that's a concrete and profound statement.

        Canada has Chartered Banks []. This is a wonderful thing. It means that when you travel, you can find a branch of your own Bank! It also means that there is excellent inter-bank co-operation and the level of serv

      • You should not have any problems finding a GP to see you in Canada. In fact, you could probably make an appointment and your GP (yes, you can choose your doctor) will see you the same day if you are in pain, the next for most other aliments.

        If you want to see a specialist. Well, that's another story... :)

      • by nfotxn ( 519715 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:38PM (#9717728) Journal
        For the sake of accuracy I'll clarify the problems with medicare here. It is not difficult to see a doctor or get emergency treatment in the least. There are waiting times for patients who are not critical at emergency rooms but I don't think that is any different than in the USA.

        One of the biggest problems we have here is with medical imaging. The cost of MRI equipement and technicians is absolutely astronomical which makes funding these clinics publically much more difficult than normal clinical staff in a hospital. Imaging is a pre-operative necessity in and this respect the entire system is gummed up at one point. Of course to the ignorant it looks as if the whole system doesn't work. That's not the case at all.

        Upon inspection of most public healthcare programs here the major stumbling points usually have nothing to do with the talent of the staff or funding as such but more so to do with economic pressure from the south. Millions of Canadian tax dollars are used to train RN's and MD's who take work south of the border every year. Canadian healthcare workers are a rare breed who get paid peanuts compared to their US counterparts because they believe in equal access for all. The idea of uncomprimised equality for all is a very much a part of our culture in Canada. It is indeed no wonderland however our detractors from south of the border usually don't know all the details.

      • by metamatic ( 202216 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:42PM (#9717796) Homepage Journal
        While everyone has coverage, it can be pretty tough to get in to see a doctor. Things take longer because their system is swamped.

        You mean just like with my HMO, which is one of the top 10 US HMOs []?

    • by rtaylor ( 70602 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:47AM (#9716953) Homepage
      You missed one.. The cost of living is also around 40% lower in expensive Canadian cities than expensive American cities; so you really do go without much.
  • by furball ( 2853 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:17AM (#9716472) Journal
    It's aboot time people recognized this. Ootsourcing is better done in Canada. At least you can understand what people are talking aboot.
  • by NinjaFodder ( 635704 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:17AM (#9716480)
    I'm not sure that we can trust the Canadians yet. I'm still recovering from Brian Adams.
  • by MrAndrews ( 456547 ) * <mcm@ 1 8 8> on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:18AM (#9716497) Homepage
    Before any of you go packing your bags for Canada, just stop and think:
    sure, you'll have a job; and sure you'll be working out of your own apartment instead of driving 2.5 hours to a cubicle somewhere; and sure you'll probably earn more on the whole than any of your other Canadian friends...
    But really, half your income goes to the government, and what you're left with doesn't go as far, cause an iPod costs six hundred bloody dollars here, and... and... you have to say "bloody" in casual conversation... and "eh", sometimes, too... and...
    Please don't come here! I can't take any more competition!
  • by madprogrammer ( 214633 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:18AM (#9716498)
    From L.A. But, I'm Canadian and just came down to L.A. to make some American money.

    I'm part of what Canada calls the "Brain Drain" where large numbers of highly (yet cheaply) educated Canadians rush to the States after graduating. The U.S. (California in particular) provided an opportunity to make a lot of money. My company stopped hiring Canadians (and actually anyone out-of-state) soon after I started, to cut out relocation costs.

    I've been saying that companies should out-source to Canada ever since this out-sourcing thing became a big deal. Now that the tide is turning, I wonder what they will rename the "Brain Drain" to!?
  • 40% is all relative. (Score:5, Informative)

    by mdemeny ( 35326 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:23AM (#9716567) Homepage
    I think the cost of living is nearly 40% less as well - and as others have pointed out already, we get a fair bit in return for our tax dollar. With the exception of a few really interesting US cities - I would much prefer to live anywhere in Canada over any US city (and I've been to at least a dozen states for work, so I know what I'm talking about).

    As a point of interest, my company tranferred me to London, England for 2 years. Overnight my salary more than doubled, but my costs more than tripled. I've since moved back and despite the large paycut from returning to a Canadian salary, it works out better for me in the end due to cost of living differences.

    Mercer human resources has a chart []outlining cost-of-living differences in the world. Ottawa - my current home - is almost exactly 40% cheaper than New York. Canada's most expensive city (Toronto) is only slightly higher than the US's lowest city (Pittsburgh).

  • Personal experience. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:26AM (#9716627)
    I'm an american who HAS moved north up to Montreal to program (games for that matter), and cost of living in the city here are less than where I was in NY (Poughkeepsie), and if I were to move just 30 min outside of Montreal, cost of living would drop more than 40% less than where I was in NY, probably in the order of 60-80% less.

    For example, a typical, 2500-3000 sq ft house around Poughkeepsie (Hopewell Jct to be specific) went for about 300-800k USD. A friend of mine bought a 2500 sq ft (ranch) house 15 min drive from down town Montreal for 140k CAD, with a pool and a very nice neighbourhood.

    140k CAD is aprox 100k USD(at about 70 cents to the canadian dollar). So by this rough (I am sure prices in Hopewell have soared even higher), at worst the price is 66% less, and at best upwards of 88% less than the US counter part in that area.

    Is it worth it? Thats for you to decide. I know I have more disposable income, even when converted to USD.

    I do have the added benefit of being a dual citizen, but that is a minor issue. As long as you have a degree and a letter from a company stating you have a standing job offer in Canada, it's a matter of going to the border patrol office and they will do a little paper work (from what I have been told, less than a hour) and you are all set.
  • by addie ( 470476 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:27AM (#9716650)
    speak English with nearly American accents

    This quip really made my day. Now I know that accents vary over North America, but the idea that the "Canadian" accent is distinctly different from an "American" accent is really laughable.

    Compare a New England accent to a Southern accent to a Maritime, to an Ottawa valley, to who knows what other region. Accents vary by much greater degrees within the two countries than they do between them. Or do most Americans feel like Canadians all talk the same, and that is somehow different from all Americans? I'd love to hear opinions on this... Cue South Park quotes now...
  • Too Bad (Score:3, Interesting)

    by N8F8 ( 4562 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:28AM (#9716663)
    Half of them think we are Evil []
    • Re:Too Bad (Score:3, Informative)

      by Ubergrendle ( 531719 )
      To American Farkers: Please don't take that link seriously. I'm a 3rd generation Torontonian (yes, there is such a thing) and I've never heard of a "Toronto Free Press".

      Second, the way these polls happen and the questions asked really bias the results. I will paraphrase what I interpret to be the majority opinion here: "Americans are really cool, and they're our best friends. But their government SUCKS ASS and some of those hardcore NRA members and Right Wing Christians really freak us out."
  • well then (Score:3, Funny)

    by mpost4 ( 115369 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:30AM (#9716686) Homepage Journal
    We can really blame canada.

  • by ShieldWolf ( 20476 ) <(jeffrankine) (at) (> on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:30AM (#9716687)
    ... while Canadian programmers are nearby, speak English with nearly American accents, have a similar culture and legal system, and get paid 40% less than U.S. programmers. Might be time to think about moving North, eh?"

    I think it might be time to move South!

  • by greymond ( 539980 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:32AM (#9716724) Homepage Journal
    Companies do NOT care if you have talk to a guy speaking Spanglish, Engrish, or Hinduish - They only care about saving money and doing things for LESS.

    COmpanies used to use child labor util we made laws about it. Companies used to work people round the clock until we made laws about it. From their past track record companies WILL DO whatever they can GET AWAY WITH - until we unite and make a law about it.

    SO GET OUT THERE and crack some skulls!
    • No.... corporations did.

      Again, this is a case of the small business getting lumped with Big Business. Just like Bush saying Edwards is against small businesses; well, no, he's not. He's against corporations that break the law.
    • Join a union (Score:3, Insightful)

      by KalvinB ( 205500 )
      It wasn't too long ago that a number of highly moderated posts made fun of the union stance that it was unfair to let volunteers do the job they were being paid to do. They were objecting to volunteers stealing their livlihood.

      Yet any time it comes up that companies are looking to get cheaper labor for the same work, Slashdot cries foul. It's all fun and games until it happens to you. Companies hire fresh college grads for less, too.

      What's the other Slashdot mantra...oh yes "adjust or die." Isn't tha
    • COmpanies used to use child labor util we made laws about it. Companies used to work people round the clock until we made laws about it.
      This is not generally true.

      The labor laws that we have are designed to prevent outliers cases. Abominiations and whatnot.

      For example, by the time the civil war in the United States rolled around, a large number of plantations had started or already completed rolling back slave labour. Why? It is expensive. By the late 1800's, a number of factories in my home
  • Canadian Sysadmin (Score:3, Informative)

    by phorm ( 591458 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:34AM (#9716772) Journal
    I'm more or less a sysadmin in my position (which is to say I generally take care of anything computer'ish here). Current wage is $25.5/h (CAD), with Blue Cross for medical/dental benefits, a pension, 3 weeks paid holidays (this is my year 2), etc

    If I moved, I could make a lot more, but I'm also currently living in a small town. So if you wanted to compare:

    • Wage: $25.5/h + benefits
    • Rent: 2bdrm apt at $415/mo, I've seen a full (nice looking) house for $700/mo
    • Gas: Currently around $0.80-$0.90/L
    • Nearest larger community: 115km (where I live, no theatre/mall but most of the rest of what you'd need to not go insane.)
    • Groceries a bit more expensive sometimes, but we just got a new grocery store so that should add competition
    • Electronics: fairly pricey, except for games which are oddly about par
    • High speed internet: $25.5-35.5/mo for residential ADSL, $85/mo for business /w fixed-IP (both fairly reliable)
    • Oh, and yes the majority of people my age are hicks or married. Ah well, can't win 'em all

    If I moved to a larger city, rent could probably be around $600-800+ for about the same accomodations as I have now, gas would be up a bit, car insurance insane... but I'd also be expecting to make a fair bit more so it would probably still put me ahead.
    • I might also point out some of the benefits of doing your schooling in Canada (yes, we do have some good Colleges/Universities, but beware some do suck so scout them first)

      • Legal Age: 18-19
      • Age of consent:
      • Gambling: 19
      • Beer: Better, stronger
      • Lots of international cross-culturalization: cute [insert X country] girls/guys!
      • Less stodgy about various substances
      • Anonymous downloads (no RIAA supoena)!
  • Where do I sign up (Score:5, Informative)

    by {Hecubus} ( 62076 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:35AM (#9716786)
    About once a week it seems when there is a story talking about Canada, invariably there are many posts to the effect of

    "Looks like I'll be moving up north" or

    "Where do I sign up?"

    Well, you can Sign up here []

    Thats the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website, with all the forms and whatnot for admission to the country. Enjoy!

    • You needn't really bother going through the immigration processes on the CIC website; as Merkin Citizens you are eligible for the Free Trade work permit. Google for the details (and misc.immigration.canada is good), but basically you:

      (a) finangle a job offer from a Canadian company, which of course will be conditional on you getting the permit

      (b) show up at the border with the offer letter, your resume showing a couple years' experience, and proof of your education, and

      (c) convince the border worker that

  • by 968134 ( 454238 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:40AM (#9716856)
    As a Canadian, I think it is hilarious that the article claims that we have "nearly American accents". There is more variety within either country than there are differences between them when it comes to how their residents speak. What exactly is this "American accent" that we so nearly mimic? A southern drawl? A Brooklyn accent? Perhaps something milder from the midwest?

    I challenge the average Slashdot reader to grab a life-long resident of Alberta and Montana at random and decide who is who based not on their word choice or beliefs, but strictly their accent.
  • Health Care Costs (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rumblin'rabbit ( 711865 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:42AM (#9716891) Journal
    I work in an internatinoal company. We have made a conscious decision to keep our software development in Canada because it's cheaper. Salaries are about the same in Canada, but in Canadian, not U.S., dollars. And health care costs are much less for Canadian companies because most of it is paid for by the government.

    The down side, of course, is more tax. And the CBC.

  • Please, don't. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Morgahastu ( 522162 ) <bshel@WEEZE3.141 ... emove my fave ba> on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:45AM (#9716934) Journal
    No, don't move up north. We have the same problem here as the United States does. Too many programmers not enough jobs. That's why it's so damn cheap.

    You'll find it even harder to find a job then we do being a foreigner without a permanent visa.
  • 50% tax rates?? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:52AM (#9717022)
    Tax rates are tiered in Canada. For someone making $50,000 Canadian a year, their yearly tax would be about $12,000--this includes fed + prov + Canada Pension Plan + tax credits.

    The approximate tax rates are (fed+prov combined):

    Up to 35,000: ~22%
    Up to ~70,000: ~31%
    Over 70,000: ~38%

    But we also receive tax credits, and if you contribute $ to your retirement savings plan you can greatly reduce the amount of tax paid.

    Overall I pay about 26% tax on my yearly income. Nowhere near 50%!
    • Re:50% tax rates?? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by caduguid ( 152224 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:30PM (#9717608)
      When you hear 50% tax rates, they are including all the ways the government taxes us, not just income tax.

      "[This calculator includes] all taxes from all levels of government that Canadians pay. This includes: income & sales taxes; liquor, tobacco, amusement & other excise taxes; automobile, fuel, & motor vehicle licence taxes; CPP/QPP and EI contributions, medical & hospital taxes; property taxes; import duties; profit taxes; and natural resource levies"

      You can find the Fraser Institute (right-wing thinktank) tax freedom calculator [] here. Just did mine (for Ontario) and it turned out to be almost exactly 50%.
  • by clintp ( 5169 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @11:58AM (#9717115)
    Not outsource US IT to Canada? They outsourced hockey to the US decades ago....
  • You know what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fizzlewhiff ( 256410 ) <jeffshannon@hotmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:06PM (#9717193) Homepage
    This whole thing is stupid. Say a New York City or San Francisco company saves money by outsourcing to Canada, a place where a housing isn't $400 a square foot and salaries are not inflated. They could probably get very similar savings if they oursourced to WVa or TN and be sung praises as heros for boosting local American economies. On the same note, west coast and east coast companies spending millions on leases for data centers could save millions by moving to America's heartland. Plus they could just leave the windows open in the colder months and reduce their electric bills for cooling. Ok, the last part is a stretch.

  • Outsource to the US (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pchasco ( 651819 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:09PM (#9717249)

    Where I live in Illinois, the cost of living is:

    55% less than New York, NY
    43% less than San Francisco
    21.5% less than San Diego
    18.8% less than Los Angeles

    And my city is slightly above the national average for cost of living.

  • by hey ( 83763 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:20PM (#9717438) Journal
    According to a recent U.N. report [] Canada is the 4th best place to live, above the USA.
  • Pay Scales in Canada (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Serapth ( 643581 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @12:22PM (#9717484)
    To say you would make 40% less is a gross exagoration. From what ive seen, the payscale is pretty much inline to what most of the states is. The amount of money that you take home at the end of the month means squat. Its all about standard of living.

    As an example, im in London, Ontario, which has a population of about 350K. Im a fairly high level developer, basically one step below IT manager. I pull in about 60K a year. From my understanding, I could go to New York city and basically double my salary, and have a 10% less tax to pay. Ditto, I could go to Toronto, and make about the same almost double what I make now ( more like 40% more ), but really what does that money buy me.

    I am in the process of buying a luxury loft, 1,700 square feet in size, for about 150K. From what I understand, the same would cost me about about 400K in Toronto, and probrably well over 1/2 million in either NY or Cali. After, expenses, taxes and all that crap, im probrably left with about 1,500 a month of disposable income. That includes my mortgage, car payment, getting reamed for taxes ( that part aint a myth :) ).

    As to currency differences, to be honest, I dont really see any. When I go visit our Lansing site in Michigan, I pay basically the same as I would in canada when I eat out, get a hotel, order a beer. It used to be we could cross the border and save a ton of cash on things like gas, smokes, groceries, etc... but now, thats no longer true. Actually, I have a friend whos business consists of buying vehicles in Canada, and driving them up to the States for resale. Gives you a hit at how the exchange rates work :)

    There are plenty of reasons to chose one country over the other... but wage sure isnt one of them. Cost of living/standard of living is the most important thing... wage is... when comparing one location to another... just a useless number.
  • by MagikSlinger ( 259969 ) on Friday July 16, 2004 @01:19PM (#9718409) Homepage Journal

    Nope, nope. We're all full up here in Canada. Yes, please go away.

    You won't like it here. It's cold, yeah.... It's 25 C here in Vancouver. Brrrr.

    Yes, that's right. Our healthcare system sucks. That's right. Please go away. *cough*, *cough*. Just ignore the international reports saying we has slightly better life expectancies.

    Try Mexico or, maybe, India...?

May all your PUSHes be POPped.