Mike Howe and his wife, Deb were in the police force in Leicestershire, UK a few years ago when they decided that the future of their family (they have two sons, Jake and Joe) was outside of the UK. They did initially consider moving to Spain and other European countries but Mike had fond memories of Toronto where he had spent some time in his late teens and early twenties.
Deb agreed to explore the Canada option and they headed to Barrie in Toronto for a long weekend during October 2003. Mike and Deb had agreed that they would only make the decision to move to Canada if they both agreed that it was the right move for their family. Luckily, it did not take them long to see that the lifestyle was exactly what they were looking for.
It took a few months to get all the paperwork together and in March 2004 Deb and Mike sent in their application. Processing times were a lot quicker than they currently are and within 8 weeks Deb and Mike had been accepted. Selling their house was easy but telling their relatives that they were moving to Canada was tough. Mike says. “Most understood and said that if they had the opportunity they would have done something similar”.
Mike and Deb were both fortunate enough to be able to take a career break rather than resign straightaway. As Mike says, “This gave us the safety net of knowing that if things did not work out we could head back home in to employment. Neither of us expected or wanted to be heading back to Britain but we still felt some comfort in the plan”.
They moved to Canada in August 2004 and chose to settle in Barrie as it is only an hour from Toronto and is a fast developing waterfront city with a wide range of employment opportunities. The whole family has settled well into Canadian life and Mike and Deb have recently had another son, Jensen. Mike says of the healthcare system, “It knocks spots off the care in the UK. Everyone has time for patients and the hospitals are clean”.
Mike feels that in many ways moving to Canada is like going back in time to how he remembers his childhood e.g. leaving their front door open without fear of being broken into whilst out for a walk. The quality of life is so much better and Mike and Deb have no fears now about their children’s futures.
A final word from Mike, “Our life has improved in untold ways and it is without doubt the best decision we have ever made”.
Source – Emigrate Canada. Published by Outbound Media