"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Crossing Borders Within Canada

A friend of mine asked me last night what makes me feel that Canada discourages any sort of serious and long term travel within its borders, something I mentioned in my previous entry. I thought I should highlight the three roadblocks I've encountered so far, starting with the least severe. The more I look at this list, though, the more I have to wonder if the issue isn't Quebec rather than Canada. This is another reason I want to try life in other provinces.

1) Vehicle Insurance

This is not an issue I expected to encounter, but if I'm out of the province for more than 6 months, then getting insurance coverage for my vehicles is an issue. I was only able to get coverage by promising that I would not spend more than a couple of weeks of the upcoming year outside of Canada and that I would return to Quebec for six months starting next fall, else my coverage will not be renewed. Well, there's another reason for setting up residence elsewhere.

2) Health Coverage

Same sort of deal as with vehicle insurance. The RAMQ (Quebec health insurance board) allows one exemption to the 'no more than six months out of the province' rule every seven years. So, next fall I need to return to Quebec for six months or lose my health care coverage, and then I have to stay in in the province for six months per year for six years.

3) Voting

I sure hope that things have changed since the last time I was out of Quebec when there was a provincial election. When the 2001 elections came up, I enquired about voting by proxy from the small town in Ontario where I was going to school and was told I absolutely had to travel back to my riding in Quebec in order to vote. So, with my riding being a twelve hour bus ride away, this wasn't feasible and I had to give up my right to vote. Never mind that I was paying income tax in Quebec and still considered a resident of the province.

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