One night in August 2005, Paul Looker was sitting at home thinking about his career in the police force and decided to log on to a police recruitment website. He saw that the Edmonton police force was looking for British policemen and well, the rest is history!
Paul says, “I noted that the website said the Edmonton police force were coming to the UK on a recruitment drive so I asked Elli (his wife) if she wanted to live in Canada and the answer was Yes.” So two months later they met with the Edmonton police recruiters and attended a presentation. Paul had to take a written test to prove his initial eligibility for a role in the police force. Paul passed the test and was told that the next stage was to take another test but this time it would take place in Edmonton.
As Paul and Elli had never actually been to Canada they decided to combine the trip with a research trip in order to experience Edmonton and what life would be like should they migrate there. Paul, Elli, Megan (6) and Joshua (3) arrived in April 2006 and immediately fell in love with the city. Paul explains, “Just walking around you notice that there’s no litter on the streets and it is all so community based.”
In two weeks the family packed in as much as they could and even viewed homes in the St Albert neighbourhood researching schools and staying with a British family.
Once they arrived back home, Paul began applying for the Skilled Worker visa. “Luckily we keep all our old employment stuff but Elli did have some employers that no longer exist so collecting information in these cases was quite difficult”, says Paul. Not only did Paul have to take a fitness test but he also had a 3 hour interview with the Edmonton police recruiters, two hours of psychometric tests and a full medical.
In July, 2006 Paul was accepted and was pleased to learn that he would start on a wage similar to his wage in the UK and living in Canada they would have lower living expenses.
The next month they found out that they had been nominated by the Alberta Immigration department for its Provincial Nomination Programme and at the time of going to print, Paul’s application is in the hands of the Canadian High Commission in London.
The waiting game is proving very frustrating but as Paul explains, “We just keep focusing on why we want to emigrate. We’re doing it because we love the outdoors and we want to live a more community-oriented life. It will be great for the children.”