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My Moving Journey

Written by Jo-Anne Gauthier, BC People First President

May 31, 2021

Originally I’m from Cranbrook, BC and here is a bit about how I ended up moving to the big city.

When my husband and I got married we bought our own house and we had it for 18 years. Most people were supportive of us buying a house but some people didn’t think we should. But we had enough money and jobs and have the same rights as everyone else so we did it. We were able to get a mortgage through our bank that we use and it was a pretty easy process. The bank was always helpful and back then houses were very cheap. We only paid $21,000 for it and made a little bit of money after we sold it.

We decided to move to Winnipeg for job opportunities but it did not work out so we ended up moving back to Cranbrook. We moved to Manitoba for 3 months but in this short time, while we were away, I trusted my aunt with the money we made and she spent it. But I didn’t know this at first, until we moved back to Cranbrook. This had a big impact on us. We needed money for a ramp to our new home. We asked my aunt to transfer money to us - our own money - and she said she couldn't. We went to the bank and it wasn’t there. This is how we found out and her lies really hurt us.

After all this, we wanted a change in our lives. I always really wanted to live on the west coast since I was 10 years old. But people always warned me not to and said that it is too scary in the city. But that was my dream. After we were married with kids, people discouraged us from moving to the big city because it would be harder for us with kids. And we listened to them. But after time passed I still always dreamed of this. Mike supported me because I put my dreams on hold most of my life – and not just because I said I was going to do it anyway with or without him! So we decided to do it! We pretty much moved on our own out to the coast and are so happy to be where we are now. We looked up places to live and did other research online and by phone. I saved my money for months and months so we could get help to move our stuff down and someone from our church offered to help drive the moving truck.

I am so thankful to all the people who helped my dreams come true to live in the city. And due to my husband’s health the medical treatment is better here and we can do more in our community because it is more accessible. The only thing I wish is that I could see my Grandson in person…but I love doing what I’m doing, being part of People First and other Boards and helping people learn self-advocacy skills. It’s so important for everyone to remember to never give up.

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