The following is the story of my emigration to Canada in 1994.
emigration to Canada, June/July 1994
the story of my first attempt to settle in Canada hasn't been told yet, I don't think, not as a cohesive whole, so perhaps it can be done now. It's quite an interesting story, and it will give me something to do to write it down.
I got the visa for permanent residence in Canada in late 1993. It was my intention to emigrate in January or February of 1994, but I found it very difficult to tear myself away from London. The bad stuff with OCTS had been in 1992.... by 1994 things were pretty stable there, from December 1993 until May 1994 I worked at BBC White City on a contract OCTS had there, and was generally enjoying myself, as much as one can when one is a depressed schizophrenic <g>.
There were a few minor "persecution" incidents at BBC White City in the first few months of 1994. One such related to SBDOC software I'd written for Oxford; they'd agreed to pay for it, and were dragging their feet; they kept on coming up with new additional requirements; I was in the computer room at BBC Schools in White City, talking to Mitchell, and he was trying to discourage me from expecting any payment for the work I'd done - he said "you would have to pay tax on it [sbdoc income] of course." A day or two after this, I was in the White City canteen, when a (black youngish female) "till wench" loudly proclaimed the word "taxes", apropos of nothing, with a look of achievement on her face. My inference is that someone overheard what I'd said on the phone in the (sound-proof) computer room, and passed it on to one of the less intelligent members of the canteen staff, for them to repeat.
Another canteen-staff incident..... I was quietly talking to myself in the upstairs room, my bedroom, in our house, then a day or two later, one of the canteen staff (white young female) started talking about "singing from the rooftops". she was talking about my quiet conversation with myself......
Anyway, in May I finally plucked up the courage to give notice to Oxford, sell the car, and arrange a flight to Toronto. I flew out on 29 May on a Canadian Airlines flight, which was uneventful. On the ground, IIRC I was given a piece of paper by a person who walked up to me; I then gave that paper to an immigration officer. I had a long wait at Immigration; made it through, and outside. Went to a college/hostel place in downtown Toronto, near Ryerson polytechnic, where I've stayed several times (cheap, clean, good cooked breakfast).
After I'd been in Toronto only a day or two, I was "spooked" by a couple of guys walking out of Ryerson. One of them looked at me and said loudly I was an "idiot". The other guy was kinder, and said "good luck to him". My take was they knew I was a recent immigrant - being called an "idiot" was traditional for the persecutors at the time - the obscenities have got a lot worse since then.
Anyway, I got scared and left Toronto rapidly.... took a train to Montreal, where I stayed for two weeks, I think. IIRC, stayed at the university accommodations on the hill.... McGill? then moved to YMCA downtown. All basic, cheap accommodations. At the time, my former employers, or rather their MD, H.S-W were still giving me hassle. It wasn't enough for them that they'd inflicted mental hospital on me, they still wanted to torment me after I had left the company. To stay in Canada I would need to work.... to work, I would need a reference from OCTS, which I had left freely..... and Oxford were being vindictive with regards to the reference. I've seen them do the same thing with other people.... it's not just me.
Anyway, the thought of speaking French for the next few years didn't appeal, so I took a bus west, out of Quebec, via Ottawa (iirc), then all the little Ontario lakeside towns, to Winnipeg, where I stayed for two or three days to recover after a long bus trip. on the bus trip out of town, on my tape walkman, I heard a Winnipeg radio station, woman, saying "insanity! insanity!" or similar.
arrived in Vancouver, stayed at Paul's Guest House which is in Lets Go. stayed there for perhaps a week? when I left, Paul said out loudly "he's going to Victoria".... which was right, but I had told no-one of my intended next destination. I later tackled Paul about this, that he had said this about me and then run away, and he said "I'm always running away, I'm very busy".
so I went to Victoria, iirc this is the BC provincial capital. It's on Vancouver Island, went there by ferry. trip to was ok. Stayed at some old ex-Polish lady's house near the sea. Walking down the road one day, got identified as English by one of a group of young girls - had never seen them before, was not talking to anyone at the time. Can't remember whether there were any other incidents in Victoria.
On ferry back to mainland, woman said near me, "he's a nutter! you can run but you can't hide!" The terminology is interesting because the word "nutter" does not exist in north america, AFAIK. Indeed www.nutter.com belongs to a law firm in Boston Mass, a north american would not call anyone a "nutter" unless they had had the word explained to them by the British. The woman's comment was clearly aimed at me and only me. She meant, wherever in the world I ran to, Europe, north America, they would follow me and persecute me.
Got back to Vancouver, stayed in a hotel downtown. Heard people talking in building opposite.... "so he's a schizophrenic? so that's as bad as it can be? so why are they getting at him?" I only wish I had been recording this stuff. Also heard street vagrants, of whom there are quite a few in Vancouver, talking about me, one to another "yeah they're all talking about him".
There is a sub-thread to this.... Oxford were still giving me grief while I was in BC.... H S-W sent an abusive letter to me which was forwarded to the PO in Vancouver. He said he would state in the reference that I was a bad employee unless I apologised to him. I can't remember *why* he told me to apologise to him, what I had done for him to require an apology, but he made crystal clear than an apology was necessary. Obviously I wanted to work in Canada, so for the sake of a reference I wrote a humiliating letter to Mr Simpson-Wells, which I would guess he has preserved carefully to ensure he and his company are totally exonerated of any blame from their abuse in 1992 and my subsequent attendance at hospital.
there is yet another sub-thread to all this..... when I left the UK in late May, I did not take my medicines with me; so I was very ill, a month later, when I was in Vancouver and received this letter from Mr Simpson-Wells. I thought the persecutors would leave me alone in Canada and there would therefore be no need of medicines; I was wrong on both counts, since the persecutors made very intensive actions against me in Vancouver, and also I finally realised that I do have a condition which requires continuing medication, even when the persecutors leave me alone for a few weeks.
anyway, by early July I was feeling unwell, left on 10 July for London. A month later I flew back to Toronto and settled more permanently in Ontario.
After this I settled in Ottawa where I lived until late 1997.