SevenCubed - 3:50 pm on Nov 27, 2012 (gmt 0)
how does it work with the health care system
Health care here is a right and nobody is refused medical care irregardless of their financial or social status. Most, but not all, health care services are paid for by the government from our tax system. You and your wife will be issued photo ID cards from the Ontario Health Insurance Plan -- OHIP -- (if you are in Ottawa Ontario). It is just like a credit card. No matter what sort of health concern you have you just show up at a hospital emergency department or at the office of your family doctor, they verify your card status, you get treatment. It's one of the best plastic cards on the planet because you never get a bill for services :)
Doctors, nurses, all medical staff, as well as facilities costs are paid for through tax dollars. Dental work is excluded and I think general eye examinations are also excluded. But if your wife is going to be working for a decent employer they typically have extended health benefits for employees (and immediate family members) that pick up the cost of whatever the government does not cover.
If you have an unexpected accident and end up in the hospital for a year -- no cost to you except services like phone and TV if you want those. It covers ward rooms, but not semi-private or private rooms. If you want it by choice it will be an out-of-pocket expense. You will be placed in private at no additional cost if your reason for being there warrants it such as an infectious disease or something along that line.
Those are just the basics I can think of offhand. If you want more in depth info just search for Ontario Health Insurance Plan or OHIP. But do keep in mind that many people who work in Ottawa live just across the border in Québec in which case it is all covered too but may vary slightly in coverage. In a nutshell, you'll be well taken care of when you get here.
Just a quick example -- my elderly mother is going for knee replacement surgery next week. Operation, post-op physio, as well as special door-to-door transportation cost to her -- $0.
Hockey, ahhhhhhhh :) Canadian kids are born with the gene in their DNA. In fact (not really) the twisting of the strand of DNA was modeled off the hockey stick blade curve ;p
And fishing, *sigh* -- plenty of it and you won't be too far from Algonquin Park, a large wilderness reserve. Enjoy!