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Aug 7, 2009 -

Trying to Become a Yukoner

I’ve been trying for a month now to get my residency transferred from Quebec to Yukon. First step was vehicle-related since health care wouldn’t kick in here until September.

So far, it’s been a nightmare.

Insurance here works like in Quebec, so that seemed easy enough at first glance. I contacted a few insurance companies and only one got back to me regarding my request for a quote. They wanted experience letters from my current insurers as well as a driver’s abstract. I knew how to get the claims letters, but the driver’s abstract was new to me. I was told that it’s something the SAAQ (Quebec ‘DMV’) would be able to send them directly because ‘that’s what all the other provinces do.’

Well, that should have sounded warning bells, but it didn’t. I contacted the SAAQ and learned that they would only MAIL an abstract to my registered address and it would take ten days. If I wanted to change my address, then it would take ten days to process that and then another ten to get the abstract at the new address. I had the abstract mailed to my PO box in Gatineau. After a week, I emailed the guys at the UPS store and asked them to check if the letter was there and, if so, to please fax it to the insurance company. This was something I had never asked of them and I didn’t know if they would do it. They emailed me back within an hour with confirmation that the fax went through. Those guys rock!

Two weeks went by, which was much longer than I would have liked, but getting to a phone during business hours isn’t easy here. I finally got hold of the insurance company this morning and the lady had issues with the fact that I won’t spend the full year in the Yukon. She just did not understand what the full-timing lifestyle is, so this was a chance for me to educate her. After I did so, she seemed much more confident that she would be able to get me a quote for the motorhome because, as it turns out, the company that does my insurance in Quebec also does business in Yukon. She said she would check with them if they could sell me an equivalent policy here.

Also problematic was that I don’t have my Yukon driver’s licence yet. The reason for this is that I want to do both transfers at the same time since the SAAQ would see my change of licence as a change of address and possibly nullify my vehicle registrations since I’m no longer a resident of the province

I finally received quotes through email this afternoon. The motorhome was exactly the same amount as for last year and the car was about a hundred dollars less. That said, I will have to pay a hefty surcharge for the time I am in BC this winter. It’s a problem that the motorhome is going to leave the territory! Isn’t that what an RV is for, traveling?! To quote my hero, MacGyver, some people are scared of anyone who runs free.

So, Monday I should be able to get the necessary papers through the fax to go to the Yukon licencing bureau and get my new driver’s licence and vehicle registration papers. And then I can start to work on getting Yukon health care.

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Health, Insurance, Law and Government, Mail, Personal, Vehicle Registration & License    No Comments
Jun 10, 2009 -

A Question of Residency

With the way Canadian law is currently written, I have no choice but to have a real, physical ‘homebase.’ I also need to spend six months in one province or territory in order to meet the eligibility requirements for health care.

I knew from the get go that Quebec was not going to be my homebase, the reasons for which I’ll get into shortly. My new homebase needed to meet the following criteria:

1) low taxes;
2) low automotive registration fees;
3) low insurance rates;
4) easy to get to;
5) have a positive attitude towards itinerant workers and lots of work for them.

Quebec loses on all points but the 4th. Same thing with Ontario. British Columbia meets criteria 4 and 5. Alberta might have been good nine months ago, but the economy is tanking and is now risky. Manitoba was a good option for the first four points, but I wasn’t convinced about 5. Scratch the Maritimes since they can’t keep their own workers and don’t need new ones. Scratch Nunavut for being inaccessible by vehicle (kind of important for me). Scratch the Northwest Territories for point number 4. So, that left me with Saskatchewan and Yukon. Saskatchewan lost on item 5 while Yukon lost on item 4. However, Saskatchewan lost full points for 5 while Yukon lost only half points for 4. Yukon is far, but it’s not hard to get to, and the northern tax benefits would cover my gas each way every year.

So, while it seems that I picked Yukon residency for the novelty, it’s actually the most logical and sensible choice!

I chose Dawson City for my new permanent address for the simple reason that PO boxes are free here and I shouldn’t have issues with not having a ‘physical’ address as there is no such thing in Dawson. I’m not sure yet how I’ll handle mail when I’m not in town, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.

I’m not scheduled to work tomorrow, so I’ll go into town and get information on what I need to do to get my Yukon driver’s licence, vehicle registrations, and health card. It’s going to be a long process, but I have a feeling it’ll be less tedious than was my return from Ontario to Quebec. We’ll see. 🙂

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Canada, Law and Government, Mail, Travel    3 Comments
Jun 5, 2009 -

Canada Post Surprises Me Pleasantly, For Once!

Yesterday, I emailed my UPS store guy and asked him to send me my mail general delivery to Dawson City. He sent me a tracking number this morning that told me that he had the package out within an hour of my having SENT the email. Again, amazing service on that end!

I just checked the tracking number again and my package is in Whitehorse, less than 24 hours later!

I’m not sure if he sent it Priority or Xpress Post, but for either service, this is astonishing!

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