You may have decided to move to PEI because of the scenery. Perhaps you have moved to Prince Edward Island for the peace and quiet. Perhaps you moved to PEI for a job opportunity. Regardless of the reasons, Prince Edward has a lot to offer.
I know that moving can be stressful. I have moved 9 times, lived in 6 municipalities in three provinces. That is not a lot of moves by today’s standards but it does give me the opportunity to claim some experience.
Fortunately, there is a lot of help available to those who choose to move here. Let’s start with the Government Website. There is a section for residents.
The first section is on medical services. The first link in that group is called Medicare where you will find out how to get a health card and the waiting list for family physicians. Yes, we have a shortage of doctors here also.
Then there is a section on schools, including information on financial programs. In the wintertime, we can get several bus delays, late openings, or snow days. Most radio stations will announce these in the morning or you can check online. Here is one of my favourite storm watch pages. If you check this page during a snowstorm, you will see several announcements.
Section 3 is on basic needs. It includes social programs and housing. The link to rental agreements is broken at the moment so I have included it here. Prince Edward Island is known to have several verbal leases. I inquired about this and found out they are perfectly legal. They function the same way as month to month leases with the usual 30-day notice to terminate. However, you may run into minor issues if you require a copy of your lease for tax purposes – just ask the landlord for a letter stating verbal lease agreement.
Section 4 deals with transportation: how to get your driver’s licence,vehicle registration, etc. If you do not have a vehicle, you can take the bus, but is seems the government website has forgotten to tell us about public transit – see below
The last section has a clump of information labelled environment. Don’t be fooled! There is considerable useful information here. Ooops, another broken link for waste management. Sorting your garbage can be tricky if you are not used to composting (organics) and extensive recycling. You will find a very good interactive guide. Electronics and batteries, for example have to be recycled responsibly at designated centres. Check out the address locator. Once you know where you will be living, you can find out your garbage collection day, including fall cleanup and Christmas Trees. It will also tell you your Fire and Police District, your member of parliament and riding, school district and much more.
So you do not have a car. The city of Charlottetown has had municipal bus service for a few years. You can find the full schedule on the internet, including an interactive Google map version for the main line. The web site also has links for bus routes to the neighbouring communities of Stratford and Cornwall. There is also a shuttle that runs morning and night between Charlottetown and Summerside with stops in Hunter River and Kensington.
Then there is a special section just on Moving to PEI. It is hard to find but I found it after writing all the above. Waste not what si already there, but please visit the official moving site :-) it features the following topics:
- All about PEI+
- Banks and Credit Unions+
- Building on PEI+
- Buying Land on PEI+
- Child Care Facilities
- Currency and Banks
- Driving on PEI+
- Health Care Services
- Public Schools+
- Real Estate+
- Rental Housing+
Call it the cart before the horse, a catch 22 or a vicious circle, it all works out the same. You can’t get a driver’s licence or bank account without an address. It is hard to register for a job without an address. You cannot buy a car or insure it without a driver’s licence or address. You probably cannot rent somewhere to get an address without proof of employment and a bank account for reference. So if you move to PEI without a car and are looking for a job, things might be complicated for the first few weeks. Be patient; things will eventually work out. If you have a car and are planning to dispose of it, consider doing so on the Island so you have a car for the first few critical days while house and job hunting. It is impossible to cover alll the possible permutations here – A man who has been warned is worth two - Literal translation of a French Proverb.
There are plenty of other forms of help for people moving to PEI:
- The PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada has several resources; many of those are also applicable to moving from another province.
- The Islanders by Choice Alliance has a website a Facebook page, and a blog.
- The PEI Government has its own “job bank” where you can search for public sector and private sector jobs.
- The city of Summerside has just launched a site for skills matching
- The Confederation Bridge has a useful website that includes Rates and current conditions.
- The Regulatory and Appeals Commission (IRAC) regulates fuel and oil prices. These are usually modified on the 1st and the 15th of the month.
I hope my list of references is useful. I have probably forgotten a dozen or more resources for newcomers or existing residents. If you have suggestions, please let me know and I will include in an update. I am hoping to keep this page up to date for a permanent reference.
Cheers – Granny – ~00~