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This is for those who are migrating to Canada
12-16-2009, 12:05 AM,
Hi Toronto Boy,

I would definately honour your right of retaining privilege of anonymity. I am doing all of that with the same intentions to help my country fellows. I try to help new immigrants in selecting their career choices, its pros & cons and in their job search, with my limited knoweldge & experiece. I am always open to learn from learned people like you. I live in Thorncliffe (I call it with love "Islamic Republic of Thorncliffe"), which gives me ample opportunity to do so.

Wish you all the best.

12-16-2009, 12:52 AM,
Dear Zaman Sahib

As an immigrant to this wonderful country, belonging to Pakistani community, and after passing through phase of initial difficulties, I believe its our responsibility to payback, specially when when most of Pakistani immigrants are quite thrifty to provide information to new commers.

Both me and my wife like Thorncliff very much. In fact, before moving to North York, we considered Thorncliff, but queues for elevators during rush time abstained me to take that decision. By the way, we still do groceries from Iqbal Foods and later enjoy dinner at Bamiyan Kebob.

Nice talking to you. Have a wonderful day.
12-16-2009, 01:14 AM,
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, san" id="quote">quote<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by MRS</i>
<br />Thank you Mr.Maqsood and Toronto boy

... i was in toronto last month ...<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">

Dear Rizwan

You escaped at the right moment [D]. Temperature in Toronto suddenly dropped down to about -20c with windchill couple of days back. Calgary is experiencing -50c these days [B)].

Amazing thing is, nothing stops full blown active life here (economic and social both), though people take extra measures. A little rains in Karachi make whole city standstill and cause plenty of avoidable deaths each year.

12-16-2009, 08:41 AM,
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, san" id="quote">quote<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Toronto_Boy</i>
<br /><blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, san" id="quote">quote<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by MRS</i>
<br />Thank you Mr.Maqsood and Toronto boy

... i was in toronto last month ...<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">

Dear Rizwan

You escaped at the right moment [D]. Temperature in Toronto suddenly dropped down to about -20c with windchill couple of days back. Calgary is experiencing -50c these days [B)].

Amazing thing is, nothing stops full blown active life here (economic and social both), though people take extra measures. A little rains in Karachi make whole city standstill and cause plenty of avoidable deaths each year.

<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">

@ Toronto Boy

Yes indeed i left Canada just before the start of full fledge winter. I did not experience the weather i was expecting and was bit disappointed that could not experience the snow fall. The only time i remember that weather was bit cold was on the day we met on Union Station.

@ Maqsood Zaman

I have visited Thorn cliff park and agree that it has very desi flavour specially the halal food shops and i had tasted a Pan from the shop adjacent to Iqbal food store )

I am really impressed by the cooperation you guys are extending to new comers to Canada.

12-17-2009, 02:54 AM,
Hi Toronto Boy/MRS,

I agree that it is our responsibility to advise our country fellows based on our experiences so that they shouldn’t have to face the same problems we did. I just want to make our conversation a bit more informative for the new immigrants so I am giving a new twist. I agree that people have to wait for longer time for elevators in high rises so I decided to live in low rise. I always recommend new immigrants to come and live in Thorncliffe which is mini Pakistan. It has benefits of close to mosque with Islamic school, round the clock access to subways through 4 bus routes, Halal Grocery shops, Halal restaurants, school, library, mall, Dr.’s office, post office etc. Everything is at walking distance. New immigrants usually don’t have car initially so they should enjoy all these benefits instead of spending scare money on travelling. It doesn’t mean that other areas are not as good. They should explore the area before the decision.

I still remember horrible weather stories, people told me when I came to Canada. Definitely weather is rough here but if you dress properly, it won’t harm you. Every place is centrally heated. In the winter never go out unless you check weather on CP24. It might be sunny day view from your window but it could be -30C out there. Life never stops in Canada even if it is a winter storm. Being late from an appointment due to weather is not an excuse.

I would like to address the issue of job hunting in Canada when I get some time. I need your suggestion that should I open a new discussion or continue on this forum?
12-18-2009, 12:18 AM,
Dear maqszaman

Yes, Thorncliff is a good area to start a life in Toronto for a muslim or Pakistani immigrant due to the benefits you listed. However, a new comer would have to consider other factors also like a little excessive rent as compared to other areas, specially when he would have to sign a lease for a year, which means he would be paying some extra rent each month for at-least twelve months. Similarly, due to high concentration of new comers, management of buildings have become non-responsive to keep conditions of buildings at maximum potential. Also, mainly due to Thorncliff, all East York has become leading densely populated area and has top most number of people per square kilometer. This has created a huge burdon on resources availablity and deteriorated services provisions in area. Conditions in local schools have already worsened due to maximum number of students per class room which is again top in whole Canada. Interestingly, East York tops in maximum number of children per family in whole Canada, mainly because of high concentration of Pakistani, Gujrati, and Afghani immigrants etc. who usually do not feel satisfaction in taking protection and later say "yah to Allah ki dain hay, aur Canadian gov't palay gi, aur acha hay zyada child benefits milay ga."

I think information at one place or thread would provide more benefits as compared to spreaded over various threads.

12-18-2009, 03:41 AM,
Hi Toronto Boy,

I agree that every place has its own advantages and disadvantages. The core idea of my discussion was to take care of the benefits I mentioned in my last thread. Surely, there are other factors to consider while deciding where to live. Community, rent, density, job opportunities, etc are important factors. Unfortunately, our people are shortsighted so they don't plan their family. They just want to take advantage of CCTB/GST/Roof etc, but they forget that the higher education is much expensive here in Canada. Each student in university costs at an average of $4,500.00 per year. I don't think that the plan for their kids’ education. They say "Sub kuchh Allah per chhor do, Us nay pada kiya hay wohi rizk bhi day ga".

I even have seen people who don't try to increase their income because they think that they will lose their Govt. benefits and will have to pay extra taxes. They don't think that their income and tax curves get equilibrium at a point and after that your income is incremental. If we took the advantage when we were in need, why we should not help those who are in need now.
By the way, I came to across a very weird case, a guy with CMA-US and CIA has been defied to be eligible to write the CPA exam because CMA-US and CIA have not enough credit hours. I know that CMA-US is not an approved accounting body. As far I know CMA has 120 credit hours and CIA has 80 credit hours studies. It is very strange to me. Can you share your view?

12-19-2009, 04:58 PM,
Dear maqszaman

Over a period of time I have heard that some people commit highly risky, in fact, illegal acts like driving for many months without having driver’s license or car insurance and collecting welfare cheques while working on cash jobs. They are ignorant of measuring risks involved and ultimate costs if they would be caught. The purpose of writing this is for potential immigrants to remain cautious from apparently less risky acts which they are used to do in Pakistan, but such acts would have longer lasting bad effects on history of that person. Every record is computerized and remains in system files for almost rest of life, would haunt and cost every time. I never saw suspicious fires in buildings containing records like I am used to read about PNSC or AGP offices. Not stopping at red light signal or not waiting for police at the spot in case of accident (which is taken as hit and run) are offences. History in records is much more important than paying minor costs. In Pakistan, we don’t care about such acts in daily life, so our mind works in the same way here initially or it does not perceive severity of events in a way that it should according to the norms of this society. It takes some time to change our habits or start thinking as per the requirements of new society’s law. For example, staring at women in buses or public areas is quite common in back home but it would cause problems here. Some people are used to hit their wives or kids which is not allowed here. If such people do not change themselves quickly they face the results. Actual enforcement of law is quite strict.

Normally, students are under debt of about $40,000 or more after finishing 4 years degree. Some people think that their kids would get OSAP (student) loan. They retain the concept from back home that loan is like a free money, forgetting that their kids would pay it back with interest. Kids cannot escape from it in future because of providing SIN number. Whenever they start earning, either they start paying back by themselves or otherwise bank places a garnishment over income with the employer, so the deductions start from source income and they get after deduction salary. Many people presume student loans as easy money without thinking about future payments.

People who don’t wanna increase incomes are mostly those who have inner fears, think they would not get a job after study or hardwork. Sometimes they overly think about tax deductions without realizing that their income levels would also be increasing at the same time too. Similarly, some people always wanna remain system dependent and free riders.

All State Board of Accountings are quite restrictive about CPA exam and licensing requirements and their interpretations. It is not the matter that an association is approved body or not (or how big is that association), but point is whether AICPA has any formal recognition arrangement with that association or not. State Board coordinators and approved evaluators only accepts course taken from at-least regionally accepted (or equivalent in case of other countries) universities/colleges or from associations with which AICPA has acceptance agreement like CICA, ICAA, ICAI (Ireland) etc. So, if any specific association does not have formal acceptance arrangement with AICPA, then courses taken from those associations would not be accepted by State Board of Accountings. Apparently it seems strange but it has its own logic. As a result, courses directly taken from ICAEW, CIMA, CIA, CMA(IMA) etc. would not be acceptable, but taken from University of Karachi or perhaps Baha Uddin Zakriya University, Multan would be accepted simply because those are UGC/ HEC approved universities and their courses are equivalent to taken from regionally accredited universities in States. Some State Board on Accountings are even restrictive and do not accept on-line course no matter those are taken from MIT or Harvard Business School. So, in essence, proper planning is very important in life to achieve future goals. Interestingly, the person who is CMA or CIA would have to take additional university/ college courses for CPA exam or license, but had he taken CPA before he would have got exemptions in CMA (under old scheme) or CIA.

12-22-2009, 02:53 AM,
Hi Toronto Boy,

You are very true Toronto Boy. I noticed that there are two kinds of people here in Canada in our community. Successful and Failed people. My observation is that those who were successful in the back home are also successful here and vice versa. It is all about attitude. People with positive attitude flourish faster than those who have negative attitude. When new immigrant comes to Canada, the first question negative people already here ask them is why you have come to Canada? And they start counting demerits of Canadian society. If you ask them what is holding them here, they say our kids don’t want to go to Pakistan, we are stuck here etc. They will advise you to go back home immediately. They will discourage you in any way possible as you are snatching loaf from their mouth. Most new immigrants come to Canada with very high ambitions and after sometime they come to know that they lack in many skills required here. They don’t try to enhance the required skills. Eventually they end up in a security job or in a cab. These immigrants will ask you about a diploma or course that can be completed within a few months so that they can get their dream job. A major reason for failure is poor English language on top of IT skills.
Unfortunately, our community is not as supportive as Indian and Bangladeshi communities are. On the other hand some people start taking you for granted or even betray you. I have very bad experiences with people I hired in my company. Still I keep trying to help our people. Some of my friends tease me that you want to run for an election so you are doing initial work. They also don’t try to understand the Canadian cultural values and defame the community. One of the person started telling his controller that what mistakes she is making in accounting treatments on the very first day on his first employment where he was sent by Accountemps. He could never get an accounting job again in last four years and working for a security company. This is just an example. Our people are very smart. They don’t need your advice. They just need quick overnight solutions. Those who listen to their senior and work hard become successful. There was a very good organization in Etobicoke working for Pakistani professionals. It offered my services to that organization and come to know that organization had to be closed down because of personal rifts as one of the members told me.
12-22-2009, 07:53 AM,
Hi, this was really a very informative thread for potential immigrants. My first question is regarding the ACCA and CGA's MRA. I have read at the CGA's website that their MRA with ACCA is for five years and the term will end at 31/12/2011. My question is that will the MRA be revised?

Secondly, I also want to know that will an ACCA member who is also a CGA through MRA and has 3 to 4 years of experience in Pakistan be able to find a good job in Canada right after immigration?

Thirdly, I want to know that if comparison is done between Canada and UK on the basis of earning potential, cost of living, quality of life and other social factors, which one is a better country? I would greatly appreciate a response from Mr. toronto boy and Mr. Zaman

Best Regards
12-22-2009, 02:32 PM,
Hi Talha,

First I want to make clear that our intention is to guide new immigrants on various aspects of life in Canada and the circumstances they might face. The objective is to make them ready for these situations so that they are not discouraged because of someone else bad experiences and behaviour. Now I want to answer your queries

1- I am definitely not in a position to make any confirmation on behalf of CGA that the MRA will be extended or renewed. However, based on apparent facts, it looks that MRA will be extended because the two institutes are working together on very close bases.

2- I want to let you that Canadians do not recognize any experience other than Canadian one. They are very conservatives. However, based on your CGA designation you would be able to get a good job faster than immigrants who don’t have this designation. Please also note that there will be substantial difference in package too.

3- I have visited UK many times but I have never lived in UK so I can’t compare the two countries. Both countries are “Welfare” states. However, I know that you can get Canadian citizenship much easier than UK citizenship. Some of my friends, who migrated to UK many years before me, are still not UK citizen whereas I am a Canadian Citizen.

I hope that you will find it useful.

Wish you good luck.
12-22-2009, 03:25 PM,
Dear talhaaz

I totally agree with maqszaman. My replies are;

(1) Only CGA or ACCA can answer you. I seems like they would extend MRA.

(2) Two ingredients are must here, (a) Canadian education, which you would have through MRA, and (b) Canadian experience, which you would not have. So, you would be better than new immigrants who do not have Canadian education, but after those people who have experience. Still, chances to secure professional job would be better.

(3) Comparisions of living in two countries is almost impossible due to consideration of several factors. End of the day, success in any country depends upon persons luck, keeping other things constant. Personal likeness should also be valued.

I hope it helps.


12-22-2009, 06:03 PM,
I would like to thank both of you gentlemen for such a quick response. The information you provided was very helpful.

Best Regards
12-23-2009, 04:00 PM,
Dear Maqsood Zaman

Your post regarding working attitude was very informative, i have got same kind of advices from few people i met in Canada. The attitude should be to support your superiors and not educate them as what should be done. I am looking forward for your promised post on Job search as i am planning to come again in summer 2010.

Further what will be your advice if some one wants to start a business in Canada, like franchise or halal store etc, also shed some light on ways to built credit history and chances of acquiring bank finance for business?

12-24-2009, 02:48 AM,
Hi Rizwan,

In fact Canada is a place for business. Businesses florish here much facter than employment. Generally it takes three years for a business to starts generating profits. But business needs a lot of money that most of our new immigrant don't have. A Star buck/Tim horton/Subway/Popeyes/Swiss Chellet etc franchise in GTA costs you about $400,000.00. If you start your on Halal store, it is really not an easy job because you have to keep checking expriy dates, compliance with health standards, vendor resouces, and on top of that rumours etc. Onces you settle down here and understand everything, I think it is a good option in the long run. The biggest risk of the business is the risk involved.

As far as credit history is concerned. It is much easy. Pay you bills before time, pay entire amounts payable, don't break your rental lease or mortgage agreements etc. If you are a new immigrants, don't apply for credit card from Stores. Just go to Capital One who will issue you a credit card or take secured credit card from TD Bank. Then use this card for at least one year. Every time your credit card application is declined, you loss your two points. Remember that your first year is always very taugh so please don't enter into any adventure.

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