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Thread: British optometrist considering moving to Quebec

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    British optometrist considering moving to Quebec

    I'm a British optometrist working in the UK for independent practice and I also assess pre-reg optometrists for the British College of Optometrists. My husband has been offered a job in Montreal and we are considering relocating to Canada. I know that I can do a bridging course at Waterloo to convert my qualification. What I would be grateful for is a little more information on the jobs market. My French is poor so does that mean that work is Quebec is out of the question? I would consider travelling to the Ottawa region to work part time (eg Monday to Wednesday) or perhaps to take regular locum days in that area. This would be very easy in my part of the UK where there is a shortage of optometrists and plenty of work. However, I don't want to give up my wonderful job here and end up unemployed. Any help or advice would be much appreaciated. Thanks.

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    It is rare in the area of Montreal to find people who don't speak english, so it shouldn't be a problem. You would be well advised to learn some french as you worked, however, as you may find French Canadians respect those who at least make the effort to learn the language and culture for the area. Good luck

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    I work in Montreal and have been an optician for 40 yrs. Currently I own my own store and have an optometrist working with me. In a nut shell....unless you have a solid grasp of french...want to butt heads with the order of optometrist (re: re-licensing) and wish to lower your quality of life....STAY WHERE YOU ARE! Reverse the roll by saying...I am a french speaking optometrist who is being offerred a job in England. Should I take it?

    These are honest comments. Althought there is a shortage of OD's in Quebec your lack of french will surely penalize you, your children will be obliged to attend french schools and the taxes will take away most of your income. Examinations here in Quebec are under Medicare and price is controlled. 18 and younger-65 and older use Medicare. The rest pay $60.00.

    Your social life will not be compromised due to your lack of french but your business dealings will. Can you write a refferal in french, can you call an opto and speak to him in french. All of your correspondance with commerce and gouverment is required to be in french and althought there is a strong english population in Montreal there are 90% more who are french.

    If you want further help, email me privately

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    Quote Originally Posted by emily.hargreaves View Post
    I'm a British optometrist working in the UK for independent practice and I also assess pre-reg optometrists for the British College of Optometrists. My husband has been offered a job in Montreal and we are considering relocating to Canada. I know that I can do a bridging course at Waterloo to convert my qualification. What I would be grateful for is a little more information on the jobs market. My French is poor so does that mean that work is Quebec is out of the question? I would consider travelling to the Ottawa region to work part time (eg Monday to Wednesday) or perhaps to take regular locum days in that area. This would be very easy in my part of the UK where there is a shortage of optometrists and plenty of work. However, I don't want to give up my wonderful job here and end up unemployed. Any help or advice would be much appreaciated. Thanks.
    Proceed with caution. First of all, you will not get a license in Quebec unless you can pass their French language proficiency exam. At least in Quebec you will not have to pass the Canadian board exams (Canadian Standards Assessment in Optometry).

    However, if you practice anywhere else (such as Ontario) you will have to pass these exams, and you will have to complete some part of the Waterloo bridging program. That alone can be very pricey if you have to do the longer program. Furthermore, foreign optometrists have not shown spectacular results on the CSAO in the past (even British optometrists).

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    Forget about practicing in Quebec.Language would present a major barrier.

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    Yep, everyone's right...it's definitely a bad idea.

    I live 45mins from the Quebec border and still 3/4 of my customers are french, and I am expected to dispense and fit and educate purely in french. So unless your prepared to fully embrace the language, beware and stay away!

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    Confused

    Gosh. That all seems very negative and will definitely make us reconsider our options. I am more than happy to learn French but I only studied it to age 16 so it's currently very basic. It seems that I may be eligible for free full time French lessons which will help. I suppose I could just be a housewife but it seems a bit of a waste of my education and experience. I don't understand why my quality of life would be worse. I would have thought that the quality of life in Canada was very good. We're really into cycling and running etc. Are there any locum opportunities in Canada? Another option would be to do some week long locum blocks in English speaking parts until my French was better. (and yes I am aware of how huge Canada is!)

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter
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    Quote Originally Posted by emily.hargreaves View Post
    Gosh. That all seems very negative and will definitely make us reconsider our options. I am more than happy to learn French but I only studied it to age 16 so it's currently very basic. It seems that I may be eligible for free full time French lessons which will help. I suppose I could just be a housewife but it seems a bit of a waste of my education and experience. I don't understand why my quality of life would be worse. I would have thought that the quality of life in Canada was very good. We're really into cycling and running etc. Are there any locum opportunities in Canada? Another option would be to do some week long locum blocks in English speaking parts until my French was better. (and yes I am aware of how huge Canada is!)
    Hull, Quebec is right across the river from Ottawa, Ontario.

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    Quebec is right across the river from Ottawa but Ottawa is in Ontario. The language would not be a problem there but Canada is bilingual and there are french speaking people in Ontario.

    Don't get the wrong impression. This is the same dilema that many british engineers faced when they were hired to work for Pratt & Whitney Aircraft. Do I send my children to french school....will my wife be able to find a job.....etc.

    You must aslo remember that the present gouverment (liberal) is supportive of the french language and laws in order to keep the voters happy but the question of independance still is strong in Quebec. BY LAW french signage must be twice a big as the english sign....we have language police (don't laugh it's true) that check up on reports of non-french applications and apply the law......

    Go outside of the greater Montreal area (40 miles lets say) and you will be talking french 98% of the time.

    Hey, I could hire you to work in my office if, the gouverment will let you work and the Order of Optometrists will let you work and I am only 10 minutes from downtown central Montreal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emily.hargreaves View Post
    Gosh. That all seems very negative and will definitely make us reconsider our options. I am more than happy to learn French but I only studied it to age 16 so it's currently very basic. It seems that I may be eligible for free full time French lessons which will help. I suppose I could just be a housewife but it seems a bit of a waste of my education and experience. I don't understand why my quality of life would be worse. I would have thought that the quality of life in Canada was very good. We're really into cycling and running etc. Are there any locum opportunities in Canada? Another option would be to do some week long locum blocks in English speaking parts until my French was better. (and yes I am aware of how huge Canada is!)

    Working in Ottawa ,once you get an Ontario license would be much more practical. Language shouldnt present a problem there unless you run into the odd quebecer working in Ottawa who expects you to speak french (even though they can speak english). Some of these people can be quite ignorant

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    Quote Originally Posted by kws6000 View Post
    Working in Ottawa ,once you get an Ontario license would be much more practical. Language shouldnt present a problem there unless you run into the odd quebecer working in Ottawa who expects you to speak french (even though they can speak english). Some of these people can be quite ignorant
    No doubt about that! :cheers:

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    Regarding the last two comments :

    Could you define more accurately what you meant by "ignorant" ?

    As far as I know, that word means NOT KNOWING something.
    What's that odd person NOT KNOWING ?

    Just curious...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Comma View Post
    Regarding the last two comments :

    Could you define more accurately what you meant by "ignorant" ?

    As far as I know, that word means NOT KNOWING something.
    What's that odd person NOT KNOWING ?

    Just curious...
    What I mean by that, is that much (not all, mind you ) of the french population are clueless to the fact that english speaking Canadians find the following things very rude:

    - automatically expecting that everyone speaks french, even though they are a minority in this country, is in my opinion ignorant.
    - When a Quebecois thinks that you can’t speak French, they tend to talk about you, right in front of you, whether they are saying good things or not. I know that they do this, because all my family comes from Quebec and I’m forever reminding my grandmother that French is not a secret language.

    I could go on, but I should get back to work….anyway hope I helped clarify!

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    Quote Originally Posted by renee1111 View Post
    What I mean by that, is that much (not all, mind you ) of the french population are clueless to the fact that english speaking Canadians find the following things very rude:

    - automatically expecting that everyone speaks french, even though they are a minority in this country, is in my opinion ignorant.
    - When a Quebecois thinks that you can’t speak French, they tend to talk about you, right in front of you, whether they are saying good things or not. I know that they do this, because all my family comes from Quebec and I’m forever reminding my grandmother that French is not a secret language.

    I could go on, but I should get back to work….anyway hope I helped clarify!
    In addition,if an english only, speaking person, is in a group of people who can speak french or english,a lot of the time these people will speak french only.( and exclude the english speaking person)

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    Thanks for you clarification !

    But please believe me : narrow minded and unrespectfull people are all around the world, unfortunately. Whatever their language is. Whatever their origin. Wherever they live.

    I'm seeing A LOT of these behaviors in Montreal EVERYDAY.
    Just reverse the roles and it's the same as the rest of Canada.

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    Well that will actually be quite good for my French. My husband's last job was in Germany and I never became fluent in German, partly as German people are always keen to practice their excellent English. I think emmersion is the way forward!

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    Quote Originally Posted by emily.hargreaves View Post
    Well that will actually be quite good for my French. My husband's last job was in Germany and I never became fluent in German, partly as German people are always keen to practice their excellent English. I think emmersion is the way forward!
    That's wonderful, I wish you all the best! :)

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    BTW, I toured Quebec with family a few years ago, Montreal to Quebec city, and, without exception, found the people very warm and hospitable, and unfailingly polite and friendly. I had been warned that some areas of Quebec were less than friendly to English Canadians, but, in my own experience, a beautiful Province to visit. (If you visit the battlefield on the Plains of Abraham at Quebec City, best not to mention the French defeat by the British though, they're still a bit sensitive about that.)

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    No need to be fluent here.
    The only thing I may suggest you is :
    Do your best to learn french, your efforts will be appreciated.
    Then you will earn our respect.

    Even better : try to learn who we are
    listen to french TV, read our newspapers, make french friends...
    Then you will have our love and be part of our "family"

    We are tired of not being respected by immigrants and many english speaking Quebecers who don't ever care about speaking french and not even try to learn it. Even basic french. We think it's quite unrespectfull since we're about 90% of the population. We tend to be quite emotive about that. We are very tolerent and open-minded. But some of us are very intolerent and vindicative about the language issue. Unfortunately they give us a bad reputation.

    Last thing : don't be shy to say "I'm new here, but I do my best"
    We will forgive your mistakes easily. As long as you try.

    Good luck !

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    Comma,
    A small correction to your remark. Most english speaking people in Quebec "DO " speak french. I would say the french speaking population that speaks english is far less than the percentage of english speaking french.

    I do not want to get into the whole "language law issue" but I do not recall ever hearing of a gouverment support, legal and establisted "FRENCH LANGUAGE POLICE" group any where else in the world.

    This language issue is a never ending, priority in Quebec and in my opinion will never be settled. French and Englsih live ,work and play togeather,in Quebec as one family yet there are always certain fractions ....on both sides....that stir up things frequently.

    Comma, do you not agree that if this british optometrist, was to start working in Montreal and she ran into one of Quebec's "pure laine" (I hope my spelling is correct) who reported her to the Language Police, that it would be trouble for the optometrist and the place where she worked. But if an english speaking client were to report a unilingual french opto (if there were a place to report that) that there would be nothing done.

    I respect the french population, I am married to a french lady, my children are fluently bilingual and I an englsih/french speaking Quebecer (born and raised in Quebec but not recognized as 'pure laine") who started my business here in Quebec against the normal risk PLUS the language difficulty. I have encountered the same disrespect from the french that the french have received from the english but we still are and will always be a great bunch of people.

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    Emily

    You may face a few challenges but don't forget about two great perks:

    $ You can make $200,000 a year as a Canadian optometrist,

    AND added bonus: You can call yourself a doctor!

    I don't know why all UK optometrists don't come here.
    Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

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    As Frank Zappa said :

    Dreamed I was an eskimo
    Frozen wind began to blow
    Under my boots and around my toes
    The frost that bit the ground below
    It was a hundred degrees below zero...

    And my mama cried
    And my mama cried
    Nanook, a-no-no
    Nanook, a-no-no
    Dont be a naughty eskimo
    Save your money, dont go to the show

    Well I turned around and I said oh, oh oh
    Well I turned around and I said oh, oh oh
    Well I turned around and I said ho, ho
    And the northern lights commenced to glow
    And she said, with a tear in her eye
    Watch out where the huskies go, and dont you eat that yellow snow
    Watch out where the huskies go, and dont you eat that yellow snow

    Great poet and philosopher he was...
    Greatly missed...

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    Blue Jumper you will not regret living in one of the nicest corners...............

    Quote Originally Posted by emily.hargreaves View Post
    I'm a British optometrist working in the UK for independent practice and I also assess pre-reg optometrists for the British College of Optometrists. My husband has been offered a job in Montreal and we are considering relocating to Canada. I know that I can do a bridging course at Waterloo to convert my qualification.
    I immigrated to Montreal in 1962 from Switzerland as a graduated optician and had gone through the British Opthalmic Opticians course. I could not work as an optician neither as an optometrist. Full repeat courses were the standard.

    This did not deter me, as I went into the optical wholesale and progressed from there.

    In Quebec with our national health care, we are desperately short on doctors while a few hundred immigrated doctors are driving taxis in Montreal, because they would have to do another stint back at university. An ophthalmologist friend of mine, immigrated from Austria had to redo 6 years in university before he could open his own practice.

    Montreal is the second largest French speaking city in the world, charming and beautiful. The government will also pay for French courses for immigrants. If you want to go through the initial difficulties you will not regret living in one of the nicest corners of North America and do well.
    Chris Ryser
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Nelson View Post
    BTW, I toured Quebec with family a few years ago, Montreal to Quebec city, and, without exception, found the people very warm and hospitable, and unfailingly polite and friendly. I had been warned that some areas of Quebec were less than friendly to English Canadians, but, in my own experience, a beautiful Province to visit. (If you visit the battlefield on the Plains of Abraham at Quebec City, best not to mention the French defeat by the British though, they're still a bit sensitive about that.)

    I did'nt know how right I was.
    A planned re-enactment of the Battle at the Plains of Abraham was just cancelled due to a a public outcry from many Quebec residents. There were threats made by French separatists, so, quoting safety concerns, the re-enactment was cancelled.

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