LIVING SLOVAK
THE CHURCHES, CENTRES OF ACTIVITY
THE ORGANIZATIONS
WILL YOU SPEAK SLOVAK?
THE UNKNOWN ARTS
SOCIAL NEEDS
COMMUNICATIONS
IS IT TIME TO GO BACK?
IT'S ONLY POLITICS
YOU'VE GOT TO BE THERE
WHO WILL SPEAK FOR US?
REMEMBERING THE PAST
THE WIRED COMMUNITY
PROJECTS TO CONSIDER
SPORTS TIMES
A PLACE TO SHOW OUR STUFF
THE STRUGGLING ARTS
COME TOGETHER
WHAT YOU MUST DO
SLOVAK SOM, AJ SLOVAK BUDEM!

Slovaks in Canada
in the Year 2000

by John V. Stephens, Q.C.,
Honorary Consul, Slovak Republic


IS IT TIME TO GO BACK?

There is a Slovak woman who has considerable experience in Slovakia and Canada in physiotherapy, but the governing body in Ontario doesn't want to recognize her experience as being equivalent to standards in Canada, and denies her membership!

There is a Slovak orthopaedic surgeon Canadian medical authorities refuse to grant a licence, but allows him to perform major operations so long as there's a Canadian doctor in the vicinity!

There is a young Slovak lawyer who wanted to be a judge but was told his qualifications didn't matter because the priorities in Ontario were for women, homosexuals, visible minorities and physically handicapped to be appointed!

In the last year, I have had many requests for information about going back to Slovakia, not just by immigrants of the last 20 years, but by native born Canadians. It seems present-day Slovakia with its economic success is beginning to attract people back from Canada which at one time was considered a land of opportunity by Slovaks.

Today the unemployment problem in Canada increases as both the government and the private sector try to cut back their costs by laying off people. What's the point in getting a university degree only to become a waitress? If you can get that job!

Slovakia is a country with growth potential and it is at the point where Canada was in the 50s. If that is the case then a good argument can be made for Slovaks to return to the mother country and take advantage of the growth that is taking place there.

Slovakia needs people experienced in democracy just as it needs people who have practical skills and business experience. With today's computers and Internet, it really doesn't matter any more where you are located, you must only have access to a telephone line!

This means as we approach the year 2000, Canada will not be the attractive place it once was for immigration -- for anyone but third world countries. If Slovakia joins the European Union and NATO, there will be a huge demand for people who speak English, and Canadian Slovaks will have a big advantage.

While prices are rising, the exchange rate is still very favorable to Canadians, so now is the time to get the bargains while they last! And take back things with you they don't yet have readily available.

Yes, it is a risk, but it seems better than the risk of staying in Canada which is going to have a huge number of unemployed in the next few years while Canada and its provinces tackle the deficit and the huge national debt.

Slovakia needs the infrastructure you expect to see in western countries: attractive hotels, shops, television programs, tour operators, a national newspaper independent of the political parties, golf courses, athletic and spa facilities, medical fitness centres, housing comparable to Canadian standards. The list is endless. Where are our entrepreneurs now that we need them?.

Take a look at the most recent figures: the National Bank of Slovakia forecasts a rise of 5.8% in the Gross Domestic Product while other countries consider 4% to be good; Volkswagen Bratislava has increased its car production to 20,000 units in 1995 and expects to reach 30,000 in 1996. Clearly wonderful things are happening in Slovakia, and given the time the lifestyle will be equal to that found anywhere else in Western Europe.

Do you dare risk the opportunity?

Copyright of "Slovaks in Canada in the Year 2000" 1996 - John V. Stephens, Q.C.
All other contents & photographs 1997, Ondro Mihal.
All comments should be forwarded to
Ondro Mihal at omihal@slovak.com.
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Last update on
May 29, 1997.