Health Insurance – BC MSP (Medical Services Plan)

If you reside in BC for a minimum of 6 months per calendar year, you need to apply for a British Columbia Medical Services Plan (for the sake of saving space and time I’ll refer to it as BC MSP). BC MSP is a health coverage plan for the permanent residents; which means that the visitors and tourists are not eligible. You can obtain the coverage through your employer, or get a self-administered plan. Under the Medicare Protection Act, enrolment with MSP is mandatory for all eligible residents and their dependents.

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How to rent a house / apartment / room in Vancouver

Renting a house in Vancouver may be very difficult, and as such, it requires a lot of stamina and patience. Since 2008 I have lived in 5 different houses and apartments, viewed over 2 dozen suites and helped some of my friends to find a good (or a satisfactory) place to live. Some landlords will not rent to you unless they get all sorts of references from you and make you sign a 1-year lease, and some will be less demanding, and will rent to you after a 10-minute conversation.

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Leaders of Tomorrow

Apart from getting good grades in school, there are other things you can do to somewhat secure your future¬†employment – like getting “out there” and meeting those “big” guys, who one day you may wish to work for (or if they wish you worked for them). I regret not doing that now when it is too late – but you don’t have to make the same mistake.

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Do I need to submit my Taxes?

Filing-TaxesEach year you need to submit your taxes to Canada Revenue Agency if you want to apply for a tax refund, or if you have been self-employed or want to carry forward or transfer the unused part of your tuition, education, and textbook amounts. I have received a handsome refund this year, and have been pleasantly surprised with the amounts returned previously.

If you have been employed in BC, most likely you have paid taxes on your income. Deductions on the income include Federal and Provincial tax, Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Insurance amounts. CPP deductions go to your pension plan, and EI is compounded in a special fund, that is paid out if you lose your job due to circumstances beyond your control (e.g. if you get laid off).

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