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Edmonton_ Alberta

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									Relocation Handbook - Edmonton
                                                                                                             TABLE OF CONTENTS




Table of Contents

Table of Contents ............................................................................................................. 2
Introduction ..................................................................................................................... 4
Living in Canada............................................................................................................... 5
  Living in Canada .............................................................................................................. 5
  Geography ...................................................................................................................... 5
  Cities.............................................................................................................................. 5
  Language ........................................................................................................................ 6
  Government and Rights .................................................................................................... 6
  Economy......................................................................................................................... 7
  Health Care ..................................................................................................................... 7
  Currency ......................................................................................................................... 7
  Religion .......................................................................................................................... 8
  Canadian Laws You Should Know ....................................................................................... 8
Information about Edmonton ........................................................................................... 9
  About Edmonton .............................................................................................................. 9
  Weather and Climate ........................................................................................................ 9
  Dressing for the Weather .................................................................................................. 9
  Getting Around Edmonton ............................................................................................... 10
  Things to Do in Edmonton ............................................................................................... 11
   Arts & Culture ...................................................................................................................11
   Festivals and Events ..........................................................................................................11
   Nightlife ...........................................................................................................................11
   Shopping ..........................................................................................................................11
   Sports & Recreation ...........................................................................................................11
Obtaining Your Work Permit .......................................................................................... 12
Obtaining Your Social Insurance Number ...................................................................... 13
Banking and Credit......................................................................................................... 14
Housing and Neighborhoods .......................................................................................... 15
  Housing on Arrival .........................................................................................................       15
  Getting Settled in Edmonton ...........................................................................................            15
  Renting.........................................................................................................................   15
  House Prices & Cost of Living ..........................................................................................           15
  Mortgages in Canada ......................................................................................................         15
  Best Places to Live in Edmonton ......................................................................................             16
Healthcare ..................................................................................................................... 17
     1.      Alberta residency – Document must show name and current Alberta address (one will
     need   to be provided for each person in your family above the age of 18) - ...............................17
     2.      Government issued photo identification.......................................................................17
     3.      Legal entitlement to be in Canada ..............................................................................17
Utilities and Phone Service ............................................................................................ 19
Importing Household Goods .......................................................................................... 20
Importing Cars and Car Insurance ................................................................................. 22
  Applying for an Alberta Driver’s Licence ............................................................................ 22
  Importing Cars into Alberta ............................................................................................. 24
Schools and Daycare ...................................................................................................... 27
Religious Establishments ............................................................................................... 28
More Resources.............................................................................................................. 29




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                                           TABLE OF CONTENTS




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                                                                  HR RELOCATION HANDBOOK




Introduction


First things first:


Here at Graham, our Human Resources team is here to make your relocation as easy as
possible. We have many HR staff available to answer any of your relocation questions.


The following guide is your tool to help you move into your new city.
Once you decide to move to Canada, there will be many things that will need to be taken
care of, most of which will happen while in Canada.


Important Contact Information:

Graham Corporate Office:
10840 – 27 Street SE
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
T2Z 3R6
T: (403) 570.5000
F: (403) 236.6575
www.graham.ca

Graham Edmonton Office:
8404 McIntyre Road
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
T6E 6V3
T: (780) 430.9600
F: (780) 743.0864




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                                                                      HR RELOCATION HANDBOOK




Living in Canada



Living in Canada

Canada enjoys a high standard of living, excellent public infrastructure, a highly
educated and skilled labour force, a world-class educational system and a well-deserved
reputation as a successful trading nation.

Canada prides itself on the availability of excellent social services, primarily the publicly
financed healthcare system known as Medicare.

Canada is known for its tolerance, respect of human rights, and social justice.
Internationally, Canada has a strong record of standing against discrimination and
injustice. A respect for human rights and personal freedom is deeply held, and both are
constitutionally enshrined in Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Canada is a huge country but has a relatively small population of 33,000,000. Canada is
also one of the most culturally diverse nations on the planet. In the province of Ontario
alone, well over 25% of the population is foreign-born.

With a rich history of immigration, Canada is an extremely plural, multicultural society.
Canada always needs the skills, talents and enthusiasm of newcomers to continue to
grow. Today, Canada is home to immigrants from all over the world, and it continues to
attract people from all over the world who want to migrate to Canada and live there.
Immigrants are attracted to this beautiful country as it promises stability, prosperity and
peace.

Geography

Canada's geography is highly varied. The West Coast is mountainous, and largely
covered in an old-growth rain forest. The Prairies of Western Canada are flat with wide-
open space stretching from horizon to horizon. Central Canada is covered by a rocky
face called the Canadian Shield and littered with lakes and rivers. Southern Ontario and
Quebec are home to rolling hills, fertile farmland and hundreds of cities and towns. The
East coast is known for its attractively rugged Atlantic shore and windswept beaches.

Cities

The majority of Canadians live in major cities within 200 kilometres of the American
border. Canada's large cities, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary, all have unique
styles, climates, economies and cultural characteristics. Toronto is a large cosmopolitan
centre often compared to New York. Montreal is a bohemian, bilingual city with a thriving
cultural scene and European flavour. Vancouver is sometimes called the "city of glass"
for its scenic natural setting and glittering glass architecture. Calgary is an economic
success story, and the centre of the booming Canadian oil industry.




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     City        Toronto       Montreal      Vancouver     Calgary       Edmonton       Ottawa        Winnipeg       Halifax

 Population
                 5.6 million   3.8 million   2.3 million   1.2 million    1.1 million   1.2 million   0.7 million   0.4 million
(metropolitan)

Born Overseas      49 %          21 %          38 %          22 %           19 %          18 %          17 %           7%

   Visible
                   43 %          16 %          37 %          19 %           23 %          14 %          13 %           7%
  Minorities

   Average
 House Price      $464 K        $311 K        $752 K        $382 K         $318 K        $350 K        $238 K         $259 K
  Early 2012

 Average Full
Time Income       $45,400       $39,419       $43,200       $46,200        $44,515       $50,300       $38,800       $40,200
(2006 Census)

Median Income
Per Household     $75,580       $73,690       $72,610       $97,070        $96,750       $99,880       $79,680       $85,170
   (2010)*

Unemployment
    Rate           8.1 %        10.9 %         6.7 %         4.9 %          4.7 %         5.9 %         5.6 %         5.0 %
  Early 2012


                                                                         *Information from www.livingin-canada.com


     Language

     Canada was founded on with a unique blend of English and French cultures. As such,
     both languages enjoy official status throughout the country. Canadians are entitled to
     receive federal government services in English or French anywhere in the country.

     Although English and French are the only two official languages in Canada, countless
     other languages are spoken on the streets and in homes. Almost every language and
     culture in the world can find some representation, and a home, in Canada.

     Government and Rights

     Canada's government is a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as the official
     head-of-state. In reality, however, her power is extremely limited and she serves almost
     entirely as a figurehead.

     Canada's government is based on the Westminster parliamentary model. This means
     Canada has a Prime Minister acting as the executive of government - the leader of the
     party with the most seats in the House of Commons. Opposition parties in Canada are
     vibrant, and political participation is encouraged.




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Personal freedom and human rights are entrenched in the Charter of Rights and
Freedoms. Among the most important rights that everyone in Canada enjoys:

        Right to free speech
        Freedom of assembly
        Freedom of movement
        Freedom from discrimination
        Freedom from unreasonable search and seizure
        Right to communicate in English or French



Economy

Canada’s economy is booming. As of 2010, Canada is the 9th largest economy in the
world based on GDP (current prices, US dollars), and the 14th largest based on GDP
(PPP). After the 2008 global financial crisis, the Canadian economy reemerged as one of
the strongest economies in the world.

Canada is in the enviable position of having a rich natural resource base on which to
base its economy, with the oil, timber and mining industries driving the economy.
Canada's manufacturing and service sectors are also highly advanced. Canada's
technology, research, and pharmaceuticals sectors are world-class, and it is a world
leader in biotechnology, telecommunications and aerospace engineering.

Canada's proximity to the United States makes cross-border trade easy and efficient.
Most of Canada's exports are sold to the American market. Indeed, although this fact is
little-known in America, Canada is by far the biggest trading partner of the United
States. As well, Canada's Membership in the North American Free Trade Agreement
(NAFTA) has meant that Canadian companies have almost unfettered access to the wider
North American market.


Health Care

Canadians often pride themselves on their universal health care system. Medicare,
Canada’s health care system is under Provincial jurisdiction with funding from the
Federal government. Medicare covers the cost of most medical treatments and doctor’s
visits, as well as many prescription drugs.

Most Canadians also choose at least some level of private health insurance to cover the
cost of dental work, optometry, physiotherapy, and other prescription drugs not covered
by Medicare. In many cases, some level of private health insurance will be provided by
your employer as part of your employment contract.


Currency

Canada uses a decimal-based currency, 100 cents make up one Canadian Dollar,
symbolized with a standard dollar sign ($). In general, one American Dollar is worth
approximately C$1.10. Coins and banknotes are issued in the following denominations:

        o   1 cent (penny)
        o   5 cents (nickel)
        o   10 cents (dime)
        o   25 cents (quarter)



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        o   1 dollar (loonie)
        o   2 dollars (toonie)
        o   5 dollars
        o   10 dollars
        o   20 dollars
        o   50 dollars
        o   100 dollars
        o   1000 dollars

Religion

Although most Canadians identify themselves as Christian, Canada is a secular and
tolerant society. All religions are free to assemble and worship as they wish.

Canadian Laws You Should Know

•   It is illegal to drive without a driver's license, registration and insurance.
•   It is illegal to drive if you have been drinking alcohol.
•   The driver and all passengers must wear seat belts at all times when driving in
    Canada.
•   Babies and children who are too small to wear seat belts must be placed in properly
    installed infant or child car seats, appropriate to the age and weight of the child.
•   Children under 12 years of age cannot be left at home alone, or to care for younger
    children.
•   All children aged six to 16 must attend school.
•   Smoking is not permitted in federal buildings, in elevators, on Canadian airlines, on
    buses and on other public transportation, nor in many banks, shops, restaurants and
    other public places (some municipalities have banned smoking in all public buildings).
•   Depending on which part of Canada you live in, you must be either 18 or 19 years
    old to buy or drink alcohol in any form.
•   It is against the law to hit your spouse or children, either in the home or in public.
•   It is illegal to use, buy or sell marijuana, heroin, cocaine and other addictive drugs.
•   It is illegal to make any kind of sexual remarks or advances if the other person does
    not like them.
•   Never try to give money to a police officer. Canadians do not bribe police officers. It
    is a serious crime to do this.




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Information about Edmonton



About Edmonton
Edmonton is the capital of the province of Alberta. It is the second largest city in Alberta
with a metropolitan area population of 1,159,869. The city is located on the North
Saskatchewan River, and it sits at an elevation of 2,192 ft. Alberta is Canada’s low tax
province, and its residents pay significantly lower taxes than residents of all other
provinces. “Edmontonians” (residents of Edmonton) are known as being very friendly
people.

Edmonton is a major oil and gas centre, and it attracts many migrant workers. It is a
very ethnically diverse city, with about ¼ of the local population belonging to a “visible
minority”. The city has a favourable jobs market, and has an unemployment rate of only
4.7%.

Edmonton has a very flat landscape. Edmonton’s river valley is home to the longest
stretch of connected urban parkland anywhere in North America. It has over 97 km’s of
biking, hiking, skiing, walking and snow-showing trails. Edmonton has Canada’s highest
area of parkland per resident, with over 27,400 acres of parkland.


Weather and Climate
Edmonton has a fairly dry climate, and it receives 476.9 mm of precipitation annually.
The city is one of Canada’s sunniest cities with an average of 2,299 hours of sunshine
every year. Its average daily temperatures range from a low of −11.7 °C (10.9 °F) in
January to a summer peak of 17.5 °C (63.5 °F) in July. Annually, temperatures can
exceed 30 °C (86 °F) for an average of 4 to 5 days. It falls below −20 °C (−4 °F) for an
average of 28 days a year.
Summer lasts from late June until early September, and winter lasts from November to
March. Winter varies greatly in length and severity, and spring and autumn are both
short and highly variable.
Snowfall is extremely common and can occur anytime between September and May.
December and January are the snowiest months, with average snowfalls of over 20 cm’s.
December, January and February can be very cold.


Dressing for the Weather

Seasonal Clothing

Winter

Many newcomers ask about the winter and what winter clothing they should wear. Here
are some ideas to help you stay warm and enjoy the winter season in Saskatchewan:

    •    Wear a light shirt and long underwear underneath your sweater and pants;
    •    Winter coats (often called "parkas") should have a hood and warm lining, and be
         waterproof and windproof. They should be loose fitting to trap body heat while
         ensuring air circulation;
    •    Wear a hat because most body heat is lost through your head. Winter hats
         should cover your ears;




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    •   Choose winter boots that have a warm inner lining and thick soles with a rough
        surface to prevent slipping on ice;
    •   Wear mittens or gloves; and,
    •   In extremely cold weather, wear a scarf that covers your neck and the lower part
        of your face.

Summer

In the summer, you will want to wear cool, comfortable clothing. Here are some ideas on
what you should wear during the summer season in Saskatchewan:

    •   Wear light colored, loose fitting clothing when it is very hot outside.
    •   If you are going to be outside for a long period of time, you may want to take a
        sweater with you in case the weather changes.
    •   Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, ears and neck from the sun;
        and,
    •   Shorts, sleeveless tops and sandals are popular summer wear.

Spring and Fall

During the spring months (March to May), and fall months (August to October), the
weather varies from cloudy, rainy and cool to warm and sunny. When the weather is cool
and rainy, you should wear a water-proof jacket with a hood or carry an umbrella. Even
if it is sunny and warm, you may still want to keep a jacket in your car in case the
weather changes.



Getting Around Edmonton
Edmonton has an advanced bus network and light rail system that stops frequently in
major central and downtown points. Residents however do not regard the local bus
network as a viable option for work related transportation.

Residents of Edmonton enjoy the lowest gasoline and diesel prices in Canada. Cars are
the primary mode of transportation for most Edmonton residents.

Edmonton is not seen as a bike friendly city for commuting to work. Its expansive
network of bike paths is seen as more of a recreational journey through Edmonton’s
parks.




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Things to Do in Edmonton

Arts & Culture

There are many museums in Edmonton of various sizes:

    •   The largest is the Royal Alberta Museum, which houses over 10 million objects in
        its collection and showcases the culture and of the diverse aboriginal tribes of the
        region.
    •   The Telus World of Science contains 5 permanent galleries, an IMAX theatre, a
        planetarium, an observatory and an amateur radio station.
    •   The Alberta Aviation Museum located at the City Centre Airport, includes both
        civilian and military aircraft.

Festivals and Events

Edmonton is a cultural, governmental and educational centre. The city has the nickname
“The Festival City”, because of the year-round festivals that it hosts.

Nightlife

There are several key areas of nightlife in the city of Edmonton. Whyte Avenue (82
Avenue) strip is the most popular, located between 109 Street and 99 Street. West
Edmonton Mall also holds several after-hour establishments which are located on
“Bourbon Street.”

Shopping

Edmonton is home to North America’s largest mall, West Edmonton Mall. The mall has
over 800 stores and services, and is well over 6 million sq. ft. The mall offers a number
of activities, which include an indoor amusement park with one of the largest indoor
roller coasters in the world, a swimming pool with water park, marine life shows, mini
golf, bowling, a skating rink, and laser tag.

Sports & Recreation

Edmonton has an extensive and well-connected park system, with the highest area of
parkland per resident in Canada. Edmonton’s river valley has the longest stretch of
connected urban parkland anywhere in North America.

The city has a professional football team, the “Edmonton Eskimos”, who attract many
local residents into Commonwealth Stadium to watch home games. The stadium seats
60,000 seated patrons, and it also hosts many concerts and other acts.
Edmonton has numerous other professional sports teams, including the Edmonton Oilers
who play in the National Hockey League, the Edmonton Rush of the National Lacrosse
League, the Edmonton Energy of the International Basketball League, and FC Edmonton
of the North American Soccer League.




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Obtaining Your Work Permit

You will need to obtain your work permit before being able to work for Graham in
Canada.
Work permits can be obtained at any Canadian border crossing, including International
Airports (e.g. Edmonton International Airport etc.), or at a Canadian Visa Office.
When you pass through immigrations, you will need to let the immigration officer know
that you would like to obtain your work permit.
If you intend to bring your family (e.g. legal spouse, common-law spouse, and/or
children) with you, they must all be present when speaking with the immigration officer
when you go to obtain your work permit.

Before you fill out the application with the immigration officer, you will need to obtain all
of your supporting documentation:

    •   Written job offer from Graham
    •   Proof that you meet the requirements of the job (for example, proof of certain
        education or work experience) and
    •   The positive labour market opinion on your job offer from Human Resources and
        Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) (Graham’s HR department has included this
        in your offer letter for you).
    •   Original proof of identity in the form of a valid passport or travel document that
        guarantees that you will be able to return to the country where it was issued.

An interview with an immigrations official is required for most all work visas. They will
ask you a series of questions about your job. Remember, they are doing their job! Do
not take offense if they ask you the same question multiple times. They want to make
sure that you have a legitimate offer and you are the only person capable of doing your
job.

In most cases your spouse and children 16 years of age or older will be given an ‘open
work permit.’ This allows them to work in any job (except for education and some
medical fields). Their visa is reliant on your job with Graham. If for some reason you no
longer have your job with Graham, both work permits are void.

Once you obtain your work permit, be prepared to pay a fee: The fee per person is $150
for a multiple entry visa, $75 for a single entry visa, or $400 for a family (multiple or
single entry).

For more information about obtaining a Canadian work permit please visit the Citizen
and Immigration Canada website or contact your HR Relocation Coordinator.




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Obtaining Your Social Insurance Number

You Social Insurance Number is your tax identification number. It is required for you or
your spouse to obtain work, credit, or banking accounts.

You will need your original:
   • Passport with valid work permit
   • Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
   • Your Children’s Birth Certificate(s) (if applicable)
   • CIC Documentation otherwise known as your official offer letter provided to you
       by Graham

These documents must be taken to a Service Canada Office.

There are a few locations in Edmonton:

    •   Edmonton Canada Place Service Canada Centre
    •   Edmonton Millbourne Service Canada Centre
    •   Edmonton Meadowlark Service Canada Centre
    •   Edmonton North Service Canada Centre


    •   Do this first thing. It will take a week or two before this number is processed
        by credit agencies. You will not be able to do anything requiring a SIN (credit
        card application, cellphones, etc.) until it has been processed.

    •   A temporary SIN will be assigned to you and your card will be mailed to you. You
        SIN is only good for the extent of time that you are on work permit. If you choose
        to apply for residency in the future, a permanent SIN will be assigned to you at a
        later date.

    •   Once you have your SIN – keep it private!

    •   More information about documentation and applying for your SIN can be found at
        Service Canada’s website found here.




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Banking and Credit

Major Banks in Canada include:

    •   HSBC
    •   TD Canada
    •   Royal Bank of Canada
    •   Scotia Bank

All of these banks offer competitive chequing and savings account options and credit
products.

    •   In order to setup a bank account at any bank you will need proof of residency (a
        signed lease, etc.) and work permit.
    •   HSBC will offer you credit without a security deposit if your income is above
        $40,000/year.
    •   If you have never had credit in Canada before it is hard to obtain it without putting
        down a security deposit. Most deposits use a 2-1 ratio (e.g. If you security deposit is
        $4,000 your credit limit will be $2000). Security deposits are typically returned within
        6 months to a year after a good credit history has been established with your Credit
        Card Company or bank.
    •   In most cases credit is kept separate. For example, if your wife is a stay at home
        mother with little or no income, she will most likely need a security deposit with her
        own card.
    •   Some banks such as TD Canada and HSBC have bank branches all over the world.
        This makes it easier to transfer funds between your old form of currency and
        Canadian funds. If this interests you, set up your account with HSBC or TD before you
        leave for Canada in your old currency, then when you get to Canada, set up a new
        account in Canadian funds.




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Housing and Neighborhoods

Housing on Arrival
When you arrive in Edmonton, you might stay for several days in a temporary place
before you get settled. Many immigrants choose a place to stay that is located in the
centre of the community so it is close to where you will need to apply for key documents
or take other steps to settle in Alberta.

You might stay in a hotel or motel, where you pay for one room, usually with your own
bathroom facilities. You will need to ask how many people are allowed to stay in the
room and how many beds it will have. Some hotels and motels have a kitchen area that
has cookware, dishes, and cutlery.

You can find a list of hotels, motels and motor inns in the Yellow Pages of a telephone
book, or online at Edmonton Hotels. If you are making a reservation by telephone, you
may be asked to give your credit card number to hold your reservation.


Getting Settled in Edmonton
There two main housing options to consider: renting or buying a home. The Newcomer’s
Guide to Canadian Housing, published by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
(CMHC), is a useful resource. It gives basic information about the Canadian housing
market and explains specific terms. Housing for Newcomers has information on renting,
buying and maintaining your home and is published in various languages.


Renting
Now that you are in Canada, you will need a place to live. Most people would recommend
renting for a short period of time before buying, especially in a new country or city.

    The best sites for rental listings are
    • Rent Faster
    • Kijiji
    • Rent Edmonton

Most homes require a security deposit to be placed at lease signing to secure the house.
If you do not have a Canadians bank account yet, please speak to your HR
representative to obtain a check for your security deposit in Canadian funds.


House Prices & Cost of Living
In early 2012 home prices averaged $318,000 which is much lower than other major
cities in Canada.


Mortgages in Canada
You will need to go to a bank and get a mortgage pre-approval, to see if you are eligible
for a mortgage in Canada. You could also arrange to see an accredited mortgage broker
to review mortgage options from several banks at once.

If you are new to Canada, it is possible to still get a mortgage based on your overseas
history. This can be done through a Canadian bank. You will most likely need enough
money to fund at least 25 to 35% of the house purchase yourself. Once you have a job
offer in Canada, you should be able to proceed with less of a deposit.



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For a step by step home buying guide visit the Canada Mortgage and Housing
Corporation website.


Best Places to Live in Edmonton

Edmonton’s south western neighbourhoods are some of the most desirable and affluent.
Neighbourhoods such as Haddow, Henderson Estates, and Ogilvie Ridge, Blackburne and
Falconer Heights have very low crime rates and their residents are very affluent.
Lendrum Place and Steinhauer neighbourhoods are more middle class, and have low
crime rates.

In South Edmonton, Windsor Place and Bearspaw are good neighbourhoods, and in the
South East, Wild Rose, Cloverdale and Larkspur are great places to live.

Sherwood Park is on the Eastern boundary of Edmonton, and has a very low crime rate
and is also favoured by many people seeking an improved quality of life.

There are plenty of excellent, family friendly areas in West Edmonton: Dechene, Gariepy,
Glastonbury, Jamieson Place, Laurier Heights, Potter Greens, Quesnel Heights, Rio
Terrace, Wedgewood Heights, and Westridge.

North West Edmonton: Cumberland and Oxford are great choices.

North Edmonton: Canossa, Elinsore and Klarvatten are great choices.




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Healthcare

The Health Card is issued by the provincial or territorial government and allows access to
insured health care services.

Your Health Card can be obtained at any Service Registry throughout Alberta.

Acceptable documents to use when you register for Health Insurance are as follows:

   1. Alberta residency – Document must show name and current Alberta address (one will need to be
      provided for each person in your family above the age of 18) -

    •   Current Alberta driver’s license,
    •   Current Alberta registries identity card,
    •   Current utility bills for an Alberta residence OR
    •   A current pay stub, bank statement or lease agreement may be submitted as proof of
        Alberta residency as long as it includes your full name and Alberta address.

AND

   2. Government issued photo identification

Document must be government issued identification (ID) which shows your photo, name and
birth date (one will need to be provided for each person in your family above the age of 18) –

    •   Canadian/Non-Canadian passport,
    •   Canadian Citizenship Card,
    •   Permanent Resident Card,
    •   Federal identification card OR
    •   Current Alberta, provincial or territorial driver’s license.

AND

   3. Legal entitlement to be in Canada

Document must be ID which shows your name and birth date (one will need to be provided
for each person in your family above the age of 18) –

    •   Canadian passport,
    •   Canadian citizenship card,
    •   Canadian birth certificate,
    •   Permanent Resident Card, OR
    •   Canada entry document (work permit and offer letter)

Visit your provincial or territorial Web site for details about application procedures:

    •   Alberta
    •   British Columbia
    •   Manitoba
    •   New Brunswick
    •   Newfoundland and Labrador
    •   Northwest Territories
    •   Nova Scotia
    •   Nunavut



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    •   Ontario
    •   Prince Edward Island
    •   Quebec
    •   Saskatchewan
    •   Yukon

If you are a temporary worker in Alberta, your AHCIP coverage will remain valid until the
expiry date of your work permit that you submitted to Alberta Health when you applied.

If your work permit has been renewed or extended, please provide Alberta Health with a copy
of the new work permit in order to extend or reinstate your AHCIP coverage.

    •   If Alberta Health does not receive a copy of your renewed or extended work permit,
        your AHCIP coverage will be cancelled on the expiry date noted on the previous work
        permit.

You may submit a copy of your renewed or extended work permit by mail or fax, or by
visiting an authorized registry agent (original documents are required at the registry office).




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Utilities and Phone Service

Cable and Internet
   • There are three major cable/internet providers: Shaw, Bell, and TELUS
   • Typically once you call any of these providers they can be out to your house
      within 2 days to set up cable or internet
   • Typically a deposit is not required.
   • You can expect to pay a one time setup fee of $30-$50 for installation

Cell Phone
   • There are three major providers of cell service Rodgers, Bell and TELUS
         o If you do not have an established relationship with a Canadian cell phone
            provider or established Canadian credit you will be asked to place a
            refundable deposit of anywhere from $200-$1200. This is typically
            refunded within 6-12 months of consecutive payments.
         o All of these providers offer international calling plans that typically range
            from $30-$45 for the United States or anywhere from $.45 - $.75 per
            minute depending on the country you are calling.
         o Alternatively smart phone apps can be used along with Wi-Fi to call all
            around the world at no charge (e.g. Skype, etc.).

Utilities

You can choose your electricity and gas provider and rate plan. You can either choose to
go with a regulated rate service or a flat late service. Since you do not have any utilities
or credit history in Alberta you will be asked to put down a deposit. Deposits are
determined by the utility companies but are typically 3 months worth of previous bill
statements (e.g. Last year the last tenants used $300 worth of gas on average in 3
months, so my deposit will be $300). The deposit is given back after 6-12 months of
consecutive payments that have been made on time.

For more information about choosing an electricity, water, gas, and sewage provider,
please visit the following sites:

    •   Alberta Energy
    •   Utilities Consumer Advocate
    •   AltaLink
    •   Enmax
    •   Direct Energy
    •   Atco Gas




October 5, 2012                        HR Relocation Handbook                       Page 19 of 29
Importing Household Goods

The following is a list of trusted movers:

    •   Mayflower
    •   Allied Van Lines
    •   United Van Lines
    •   Starline Overseas Movers

Most will visit your home and then categorize your belongings. They will then give you
an estimate based on the weight of your goods. Always expect that the actual weight of
your belongings to be 10%-15% more than the estimate.

The movers will warn you about importation laws. Please take these seriously. There are
some items that movers will not move including:

    •   Aerosols (shaving cream, hair spray, bug spray, cooking oil, etc.)
    •   Nail polish
    •   Propane
    •   Lighter fluids
    •   Guns and large knives
    •   Among other things, please check with your moving provider and the government
        of Canada’s website found here

You will need to package each of your belongings with your name, destination, contact
phone number, content of the box, and preferably your moving account number given to
you by your moving company.

Example:

Joe Smith

10840 - 27th Street S.E. Calgary, AB T2Z 3R6 -(403) 570-5000

Used Household goods – Men’s Shoes

IMC-0548348


Once you have done that, on your moving day, your mover will come to your house and
catalogue all of your belongings. He will give you a copy to take with you. Keep this
paper while traveling. You will need to inform border services that you have a vehicle
coming with your household goods in it. They will need to see this list.


Bring your stamped list to your moving company’s office to claim your belongings. They
will give you the paperwork that your driver received from the border. Then you must
take both lists to the Border Service Office in Calgary to claim your belongings to be
released by your movers. No tax is assessed for individuals coming into Canada on work
permit.
Once Border Services releases your goods, you will need to bring the stamped
paperwork from Border Services back to you mover so that they can deliver your
belongings.




October 5, 2012                        HR Relocation Handbook                    Page 20 of 29
Obtain List from movers  Give list to Border Services when crossing in Canada  Go to
mover to get driver’s list  Take both papers to Border Services for release of goods 
Give paperwork back to mover so that they can deliver.




October 5, 2012                      HR Relocation Handbook                    Page 21 of 29
Importing Cars and Car Insurance

Applying for an Alberta Driver’s Licence

It is the law in Alberta that a person must surrender any and all foreign driver’s licences
when they obtain any class of Alberta operator’s licence. It is illegal in Alberta to hold
any other driver’s licence and an Alberta driver’s licence at the same time.

Exchanging a Canadian Licence

A valid licence from another Canadian jurisdiction can be exchanged for an equivalent
class (Classes 1 through 7) of operator’s licence. Testing is not normally required. A
vision screening is required for all classes. A medical is required for Classes 1, 2 and 4
and may also be required for all other classes if the applicant has a medical condition
that may affect their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Applicants must produce
acceptable identification and proof of residency.

Exchanging a United States Licence

A valid licence from the United States can be exchanged for a Class 5, 6, or 7 when the
applicant presents a valid licence of equivalent class. All other classes would require
testing and applicants must provide applicable medical reports and undergo vision
screening. All applicants must produce acceptable identification and proof of residency.

Exchanging a Non-Canadian or Non-U.S. Licence
All applicants must produce acceptable identification and proof of residency.

Translation Requirements
All documents submitted must be genuine originals, photocopies and faxes are not
acceptable. All drivers’ licences and other documents not in English must be
accompanied by a written translation completed by an approved translator. If the client
also has an official International Driver's Permit (IDP) issued by their home jurisdiction,
it must also be surrendered. Please refer to the Approved Document Translators (pdf)
page for information on ministry requirements. Japanese licences that are not
accompanied by an official IDP must have a translation done by the Consulate General of
Japan. Swiss licences do not require a translation as the required information is already
in English.
    • Countries With Reciprocal Licensing Agreements
        (Australia, Austria, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Isle of Man, Japan,
        Republic of Korea, Scotland, Switzerland, United States, Wales)
    • All Other Countries
    • Frequently Asked Questions
Please note that there are different requirements for translators for knowledge tests.
Please click HERE for a list of approved translators for knowledge tests.

Countries with Reciprocal Licensing Agreements
Alberta has Reciprocal Licensing Agreements with the following countries in addition to
all Canadian jurisdictions and territories:
    • Australia
    • Austria
    • Belgium
    • England
    • France
    • Germany
    • Isle of Man


October 5, 2012                        HR Relocation Handbook                       Page 22 of 29
    •   Japan
    •   Republic of Korea
    •   Scotland
    •   Switzerland
    •   United States
    •   Wales

A valid licence from a country that has a Reciprocal Licensing Agreement with Alberta
can be exchanged for a Class 5 licence when the applicant presents a valid licence of
equivalent class.

The reciprocal licensing agreements with Switzerland and Japan includes the exchange of
a class 6 (motorcycle) licence when the applicant presents a valid licence of equivalent
class.

Note: Parental consent for applicants under 18 years of age is required.
All other licence classes require testing and vision screening. The applicants must
disclose all medical conditions and physical disabilities that may affect their ability to
safely operate a motor vehicle. All applicants must produce immigration and residency
documentation along with acceptable identification.

What is reciprocal licensing?
Persons originating from countries that have signed a Reciprocal Licensing Agreement
with Alberta can exchange their out-of-country driver’s licence for an Alberta driver's
licence if they are lawfully entitled to be in Canada and have taken up residence in
Alberta.

Drivers must meet the following requirements:

    •   The driver must be at least 18 years of age. (If a applicant is under 18 years of
        age, consent for a minor, or proof of self-sufficiency or marriage, is required.)
    •   The driver must present proof of legal presence and residency in Alberta by
        providing federal travel authorization documents such as employment
        authorization and record of landing.
    •   The driver must provide proof of their date first licensed. (If the driver has been
        licensed for two or more years as a fully licensed driver in their country of origin,
        the Graduated Driver Licensing program (GDL) conditions do not apply. Please
        see the Traffic Safety in Alberta website for detailed information.)
    •   The driver must meet all requirements for the class of licence being applied for in
        order to drive a motor vehicle.
    •   The driver will be required to pass a vision screening test and disclose all medical
        conditions or physical disabilities that may affect their ability to safely drive a
        motor vehicle.

When is a person exempt from taking a knowledge and/or road test?
A person is exempt from taking a knowledge and/or road test when they provide proof
that they previously held a Canadian driver’s licence or a licence from a country with a
Reciprocal Licensing Agreement with Alberta and have been consecutively licenced in
another jurisdiction since they held that licence. There cannot have been a lapse in
licencing during this period in excess of three years.

All Other Countries
A person coming to Alberta from outside Canada may apply to have their previous
driving history credited to their Alberta driving record. A successful application will grant
exemption from the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program and allow for Class 5
road testing without being required to hold a Class 7 driver's licence for one year. The
GDL program improves road safety by extending the learning stage for new drivers,



October 5, 2012                         HR Relocation Handbook                       Page 23 of 29
regardless of age. New drivers gain more experience and improve their skills under low-
risk conditions before graduating to more demanding driving conditions. To become fully
licensed, new drivers must show responsible driving behaviours, smooth vehicle handling
skills and pass an advanced road test. For more information about GDL, please see
the Traffic Safety in Alberta website for additional information.



Importing Cars into Alberta


    •   There are several companies who will transport cars into Canada, including but
        not limited to:
           o Allied – They will only move your vehicle if you move your household
               goods with them as well
           o Starline Overseas Moving
           o Lone Star Auto Transport
           o Ship My Vehicle

If you DO NOT wish to sell your vehicle during your time in Canada:
    • You will need to obtain a car importation document from the Canadian
       government either while at the border or when you claim your car at customs in
       Calgary. You will need the following paperwork:
           o Your work permit
           o Vehicle title
           o Bill of sale/transfer of ownership paperwork
           o To know the approximate value of your vehicle (no tax is assessed)
           o The month and year that it was built (car be found on most driver’s side
               doors)
    • The paperwork from the border service must be taken to the Service Registry
       (see page 8 for directions). You must request a form for a providential inspection
    • The car must get a provincial inspection before being registered in Alberta. This
       will cost around $200 depending on the type of car.
           o The inspection is fairly routine. Please note, Canada requires daytime
               running lights to turn on automatically when the car is started. This cannot
               be controlled from the cabin. Canadian Tire as well as some auto body
               shops will do a provincial inspection. Please be aware that the inspection
               takes anywhere from 2-6 hours.
    • Alberta car insurance is required for registering your vehicle (even if your current
       car insurance is still valid). You will need to obtain your insurance history from
       your previous insurer. The more thorough your history report, the better rate you
       will be able to obtain.
           o There are several car insurance companies, but it is recommended that
               you use a broker. There are only a few insurance companies who will
               insurance anyone new to Canada.
                    Sunvalley Insurance Broker
                    Diamond Insurance Broker
    • Next you will need to provide your driver’s abstract from the state or country that
       you previously held a driving record in.
    • Once you have your inspection passing papers, border service papers, proof of
       car insurance, and your driver’s abstract from your previous country you will need


October 5, 2012                        HR Relocation Handbook                      Page 24 of 29
        to go back to the registry to get your vehicle(s) licensed and obtain your drivers
        license.

Border Service Papers  Registry for Inspection Papers  Get inspection, obtain passing
inspection papers  Get previous insurance records  Get driver’s abstract  Get car
insurance  Go back to the registry to register vehicles and obtain your driver’s licence

If you DO wish to sell your vehicle during your time in Canada:

    •   You will need to see if your car is even importable into Canada by visiting the
        Registrar of Imported Vehicles at www.riv.ca or by calling 1-888-848-8240
    •   If your car is acceptable you will need
            o Original Title and Bill of sale/transfer of ownership (plus 2 copies)
            o Original work permit documentation
            o Proof of insurance
            o Written proof from the manufacturer (not the dealership) of any recalls in
                effect that have been performed on the car
            o The original stickers stating that it meets Federal safety standards in effect
                on the date of manufacture (typically found on the drivers side door)
    •   You will need to notify US customs at least 72 hours in advance of importation if
        you are importing your vehicle from the US.
The following fees will be assessed on your vehicle:
        o   Paperwork at Brokerage Fee - $182.00 CDN (includes GST)
        o   Duty – 6.1% of the Canadian Market Assessed Value of the vehicle (this
            number is always changing – call 1-800-461-9999 for the most up to date
            information)
        o   Excise Tax (only if your vehicle is equipped with air conditioning) - $100 CDN
        o   GST – 7.0% of the Canadian Market Assessed Value of the car
    •   Within a few weeks you will receive notice in the mail from the Registrar of
        Imported Vehicles that you have imported a vehicle and will require a federal
        inspection. You can then take your car to an auto mechanic registered to do
        federal inspections. Most Canadian Tire stores are certified to preform these
        inspections. The cost of the inspection is covered in the fees assessed at Border
        Services.
    •   Next you will need to provide your driver’s abstract from the state or country that
        you previously held a driving record in.
    •   Alberta car insurance is required for registering your vehicle (even if your current
        car insurance is still valid). You will need to obtain your insurance history from
        your previous insurer. The more thorough your history report, the better rate you
        will be able to obtain.
            o There are several car insurance companies, but it is recommended that
                you use a broker. There are only a few insurance companies who will
                insurance anyone new to Canada.
                     Sunvalley Insurance Broker
                     Diamond Insurance Broker
            o The broker or insurance company that you choose will ask to have a copy
                of your current driver’s license, work permit documentation, insurance
                history, and driver’s abstract.



October 5, 2012                         HR Relocation Handbook                      Page 25 of 29
    •   Once you have your inspection passing papers, border service papers, proof of
        car insurance, and your driver’s abstract from your previous country you will need
        to go back to the registry to get your vehicle(s) licensed and obtain your drivers
        license.

Border Service for importation documentation  Get federal inspection, obtain passing
inspection papers  Get previous insurance records  Get driver’s abstract  Get car
insurance  Go to the registry to register vehicles and obtain your driver’s licence.




October 5, 2012                        HR Relocation Handbook                     Page 26 of 29
Schools and Daycare

For a full list of schools, with links to their websites please visit the Edmonton Public
Schools board website.

Public Schools

There are three major school boards for kindergarten through to twelfth grade
education; Edmonton Public Schools board, the Edmonton Catholic School district, and a
Francophone school board providing immersion education for primarily French speaking
children.

Private Schools

Private schools work similarly to public schools. You will need to contact the school that
you would like your child to attend and then fill out their application. Often times they
will ask for a refundable deposit to be assessed before being able to assess your
application.

Preschools

Preschools are similar to private schools. They will ask you to fill out their application and
take a refundable deposit before your application can be assessed.

You can expect to pay anywhere from $600-$1200 per month per child for all day
daycare programs. However, if you meet income requirements, your family could qualify
for Alberta preschool subsidies. For more information about subsidies please visit the
Alberta Human Services website.




October 5, 2012                         HR Relocation Handbook                        Page 27 of 29
Religious Establishments

Canada is a secular and tolerant society. All religions are free to assemble and worship
as they wish.

For more information about religious establishments in Edmonton, please visit the
following website.

Religion & Worship, Edmonton




October 5, 2012                       HR Relocation Handbook                      Page 28 of 29
More Resources


Living in Edmonton

Rent in Edmonton

Moving to Edmonton

Relocate Canada

City of Edmonton

Edmonton News




October 5, 2012      HR Relocation Handbook   Page 29 of 29

								
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