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Amro Hayek, RCIC

Landing And Settlement In Canada - Manitoba This is your official guide to a successful settlement in the province of Manitoba.

In this landing guide, you will find contact information for each service agency that you will require to begin your new life in Manitoba, whether you are moving to the city of Winnipeg or the surrounding areas.

Learn more about life in Manitoba.

Included in this Landing Guide to Manitoba:

  • General Information
  • Health Care
  • Employment
  • Finances
  • Education
  • How to obtain a driver's licence
  • Housing
  • What can I bring to Canada?
  • Weather
  • Additional Service Providers
  • Emergency Services
  • Directory of Local Immigrant-Serving Organizations

General Information on Manitoba

Official provincial immigration website: www.immigratemanitoba.com

City of Winnipeg website: www.winnipeg.ca/interhom

City of Brandon website: www.brandon.ca

Health Care in Manitoba

Permanent residents are eligible for health insurance as soon as they arrive. You must register with Manitoba healthcare in order to receive a Manitoba Health Card. If you need health care before you receive your card, you must provide proof of your permanent resident status. Register for your Manitoba Health Card by contacting Manitoba Health at:

Manitoba Health

300 Carlton Street

Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 3M9

Tel: 786-7101 or toll-free: 1-800-392-1207

Website: www.gov.mb.ca/health

If you are unable to travel to a doctor's office, but require non-emergency medical aid you can contact physicians and nurses by telephone with the Manitoba HealthLinks. Call 788-8200 in Winnipeg or 1-888-315-9257 outside Winnipeg.

Employment in Manitoba

In order to work legally in Manitoba, you must have a Canadian Social Insurance number (SIN). Apply for your SIN card as soon as possible after you arrive. Sometimes, SIN card application forms are given to immigrants upon landing, but if not, you can apply at your nearest Service Canada centre. For complete details on obtaining your SIN, visit: www.servicecanada.gc.ca/en/sc/sin

After you have obtained your SIN number, it is important to have your credentials assessed. This way, Canadian employers will be able to understand your qualifications and experience in comparison to Canadian standards. Contact the Canadian Centre for International Credentials for information on having your credentials assessed: www.cicic.ca

If you work in a trade, you must obtain Canadian trade certification to practice your trade in Manitoba. Begin by contacting Red Seal, a nation-wide trade certification organization. For complete details, visit: www.red-seal.ca

Trades people and professionals may be required to register with a provincial regulatory organization. You should be able to locate your profession or trade regulatory organization in the phonebook or by doing an online search. For example, dentists should search for Dentist Organization, Manitoba. The first search result is the Manitoba Dental Association (www.manitobadentist.ca)

If you need to improve your language skills in either English or French, register for a course. Being able to speak, understand and write fluently in English and/or French is a necessity in the Canadian workforce.

English as an Additional Language (EAL) Courses are offered at:

  • The Winnipeg School Division, call: 775-0416 or visit: www.winnipegsd.ca/schools/Greenway/Programs/eal
  • The English Skills Centre, visit: www.eese.ca/about-us/about
  • Multiple community courses are offered for those who cannot attend classes at formal academic institutions. For information, contact the Winnipeg English Language Assessment and Referral Centre (WELARC) at 943-5387. Note: These programs may have child care, so you can bring your children with you.

Note: This list is not exhaustive. Most local community centres and education institutions offers language classes as well.

Your Resume

Before you begin searching for a job in Canada, ensure that your resume is up to date and that you have carefully checked it and your cover letters for spelling and grammatical errors. Many immigrant-serving organizations offer resume writing and cover letter services to help you with this. See the Directory, below.

Searching for a Job

There are multiple popular online search engines for browsing job postings and finding work in Canada. The most popular include Craigslist (www.winnipeg.craigslist.ca for Winnipeg), Monster (www.monster.ca), and the Government of Canada's Job Bank (www.jobbank.gc.ca).

It is important to note that finding work can take time, so be prepared to support yourself financially while you are looking for employment.

Having trouble finding work? Gain Canadian work experience by volunteering! Volunteering is a great way to get involved in your new community, and gain work experience from Canadian organizations. Volunteering opportunities are available through most community centres, or in your local newspaper.

Finances in Manitoba

Within the first few days after you arrive in Manitoba, you should open an account at a local bank or financial institution. Popular banks in Canada include HSBC, Scotia Bank, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Bank of Montreal (BMO), TD Canada Trust, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), National Bank of Canada, and Desjardins Bank. You can find contact information for these banks by searching on the internet, or simply walk into a local branch and ask for information.

It is to your advantage to make an appointment with a financial advisor at the banking institution who can help you organize your finances in Canada, provide you with information on financing home and automobile purchases, advise you about paying for further education for yourself or your family members, and giving you advice about preparing for your retirement.

For general information on banking and financial matters in Manitoba and the rest of Canada, visit the Canadian Bankers Association website at www.cba.ca.

Important to know: Canadian Money is made of cents and dollars. There are 100 cents in 1 Canadian dollar. Currency is found in denominations of coins and bills, or paper currency. Divisions are as below:

  • Coins of 1 cent ($0.01) called the "penny" - Note: the penny is no longer used in commercial transactions.
  • Coins of 5 cents ($0.05) called the "nickel"
  • Coins of 10 cents ($0.10) called the "dime"
  • Coins of 25 cents ($0.25) called the "quarter"
  • Coins of 1 dollar ($1.00) called the "loonie" for the Canadian loon featured on the coin
  • Coins of two dollars ($2.00) called the "twoonie" as it is the equivalent of two loonie's, and,

Bills of five dollars ($5.00), ten dollars ($10.00), twenty dollars ($20.00), fifty dollars ($50.00) and one hundred dollars ($100.00).

To find out what your home currency is worth against Canadian currency, talk to a representative from a local bank, or visit this popular currency exchange website: www.xe.com

The most frequent modes of transactions cash currency, cheques, debit banking cards, and credit cards.

If you have children under 18 years of age, you may be eligible to receive the Canada Child Tax Benefit. For information, visit the website for the Canadian Revenue Agency at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/, or call toll-free 1-800-959-2221.

Schooling and Education in Manitoba

Children under 16 must be registered for school. Schooling generally begins at age four or five. Most children stay in school until they finish high school, generally at 18 years of age.

The Canadian public school system is government-funded, meaning that there are no tuition charges for students. It is generally divided into two levels, Elementary and Secondary. Post-Secondary education, such as college or university, are only partially funded by the government, requiring tuition from students. Some districts or private schools may organize their grade levels differently, though education standards are regulated by the provincial government.

The academic year for all levels of education begins in September and runs through June for elementary and secondary students, and to April for college and university students. Standard holidays include Christmas and New Year's holidays in December and January, and a spring break in either March or April. In addition, students have the right to observe religious holidays. Contact the local school board in your neighbourhood for information on registration.

Manitoba Education, Citizenship and Youth is an online school search where you can learn about schooling options in your community: www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/schools/gts

To obtain complete information schools, program, registration, holiday schedules, transportation and more, visit: www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/schools/index

For complete information on post-secondary education visit the Study in Canada Guide.

Obtaining a Driver's Licence in Manitoba

If you are planning on renting, leasing, or buying a car, you must have an official Manitoba driver's licence.

To obtain an official Manitoba driver's licence and insurance, called Autopac, you must contact the Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI). Visit their website: www.mpi.mb.ca

Note: Every vehicle and driver must have insurance. Contact a local insurance provider to become properly insured before you drive.

Housing in Manitoba

There are multiple different housing options across Canada. If you have not visited to your new city previously, it may be best to rent a temporary apartment when you first arrive, and/or hire a real estate agent to guide you through the housing process and provide you with knowledgeable advice on the best areas to live for you and your family.

Typical types of housing in Manitoba

Apartment buildings are large, multi-unit buildings owned by one person or company where each inhabitant rents a unit. Studio or bachelor apartments are generally one room with a kitchen area and bathroom and are suited only for a single individual. Larger apartments can accommodate families as they have bedrooms and additional living space.

A large multi-unit building where each unit is owned by the inhabitant is called a condominium, and each unit is called a condo.

Apartments and condos can often be found in larger houses that have been divided into separate living spaces.

Houses can be connected in a row, for example townhouses or row houses, or detached, as separate, individual dwellings.

Though average living costs vary given size of family, location and level of income, housing is generally more expensive in cities. As a result, many families choose to live in suburbs which are towns located just outside the city limits, where housing is more affordable. Suburbs often provide good neighbourhoods, schools, shopping and healthcare, all within close proximity to the amenities of the city. Housing in the country can be even less expensive and is desirable for many families, but you will require a vehicle in order to travel for your basic needs including groceries, work, school, and healthcare.

Pets: If you are renting your home or live in a condominium, it is important that you ensure pets are legally allowed on the premises before you move in with your family pet, or purchase a family pet. It is also important to check with city bylaws to ensure that your animal is legal in Manitoba.

It is important that you take your family, your place of work, neighbourhood and finances into account before deciding on a place to live.

To find housing without the aid of a real estate agent, search through classified ads in your local newspaper or in real estate papers which are generally free and found in malls and street sides. Online classified ads on websites such as craigslist (www.winnipeg.craigslist.ca for Winnipeg) and mls.ca are often used in Canada to find housing. Always remember that it is important to be vigilant when responding to ads posted online.  

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