Showing posts from November, 2013

Katya's Health Care Woes

Katya hasn't had much luck with health care providers in Canada and, frankly, since she's been here I've been noticing glaring cracks in our vaunted system.

As pretty much everybody knows, Canada has a single-payer universal health care system provided by the government. Each province is free to set up its own system, therefore in British Columbia every resident is billed $65 a month and have no choice but to pay it, whereas in Ontario health care is completely free (although your employer pays the premiums).

The problem with this system is that there is absolutely no choice allowed to the end-user (the patient), and the heavily bureaucratic system can run rough-shod over the patient with impunity. Medical staff can get away with being obnoxious and rude, and doctors can be completely indifferent, safe in the knowledge that you'll still come back and pay their bills with your tax dollars because where else are you going to go?

Last year, in Victoria, Katya developed s…

Katya Arrives In Canada

On Christmas Eve, 2011 I arrived back in Moscow to escort Katya home to Canada. She had just received her visa the month before after 10 months of processing and $3,000. We didn't celebrate Christmas, because it's not celebrated in Russia, but I went to Katya's employer's New Year's party and we did have a nice New Year dinner with her mother and grandmother and exchange a few New Year's gifts.
I spent nearly a month in Russia with Katya and her family and then, on January 21st 2012, we went to Sheremyetova International Airport with her mother and checked in to our Aerosvit flight to Toronto. Katya's mother was visibly upset but remained stoic. Katya was too busy fussing about check-in times and luggage and all those stressful airport things to really worry about the fact that she was leaving her home permanently. 
After an hour or so of goodbyes, we went through security and boarded our aircraft. 

Our flight had a connection in Kiev, which made sense con…

Chicken Kiev..In Kiev!

I didn't leave off Mission to Moscow very well; my last posts talk about living in Halifax, and then, two years later, this blog appears and I'm discussing moving from Victoria to Edmonton to Guelph.

Well, I did land in Halifax after returning from Russia, and didn't like it. Jobs pay little and the city is a bit of a trashy dump. When an old friend, Shanana, from British Columbia called me up and offered me a job as an At-Sea Fisheries Observer with my old company in BC, I jumped at the chance. They offered me top pay and lots of work, so I went out to BC after all.

Katya and I had to be apart for almost a year as part of her visa process. I had to show Canadian immigration authorities that I had a job with a stable income in Canada, and she wasn't allowed to enter the country during the processing of her permanent resident visa. We ended up apart for nearly a year as a result.

I got down to business in British Columbia, working hard and earning money. In the summer …