Wednesday, 21 November 2007
Thirteen years ago today, my husband, my two year old son and I emigrated from the little island of Jersey to Canada.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica 2007 Book of the Year, Jersey's total area is 45.6 square miles or 118.2 square kilometres. Compare this to Canada - 3,855,103 square miles or 9,984,670 square kilometres.
Jersey's population (2006) - 88,300
Canada's (2005) - 32,547,000
Population density: Jersey 1,936.4 people per square mile, Canada 9.3 people per square mile (hmmm, you can see why it might feel a little crowded there, eh)!
Compare the amount of "passenger cars" - in Jersey, 74,007 (that's almost one for every person, including children); in Canada, 18,123,885 (about one car for every two people). Now who do you think has a problem with "rush hour"?!
Jersey has no public debt. Canada had, in 2006, US$585,554,000,000.
Jersey has long been known as a "tax haven", with many foreign companies having their headquarters there to reap the tax benefits. Income tax, at least when I was living there, was a flat 20%, though there were many allowances which one could claim. Until this year, there was no sales tax. Canadians, on the other hand, are considered to shoulder a very heavy tax burden.
If you were to drive from St John's, Newfoundland, to Whitehorse, Yukon, you would travel 8,298 kilometres. Assuming an average of 60 km an hour, 10 hours a day, it would take you two weeks to get there. You can drive around Jersey in a few hours!
They sound very different, don't they? However, they do share certain similarities. Both have Finance and Real Estate at the top of the list as far as Gross Domestic Product is concerned. Both have English and French as their two first languages - in Jersey, Jerriais, a sadly dying language, and in Canada, Quebecois. Both have Queen Elizabeth II as their monarch.
Some wonderful things have happened since we moved here. We had two more children. We bought a house with a garden full of trees. We discovered homeschooling. We made some incredible friends. We're glad to be here.