June 25, 2008

Rising Daughter’s SIN

Hey, my little girl’s not even thinking about sin or religious beliefs! I’m talking about her Social Insurance Number, which is the last bit of identification we need to get her Canuck profile up and running with The Powers That Be.

We needed a SIN number to start our little one’s education fund in Canada, you see.

Government proposes, bureaucracy disposes. And the bureaucracy must dispose of government proposals by dumping them on us.

-P. J. O'Rourke

Bringing a new life into society entails paperwork with the authorities no matter where you live. However, Naomi and I, being the social misfits that we are, managed to literally breed a few bureaucratic gaps that needed a lot of paper to bridge. For example, Naomi had decided to keep her maiden name -- which I am all for – and it’s something she will share with Elena here in Japan. Owing to a variety of local customs and laws, and because I am not Japanese, Elena cannot use my family name here. Fair enough. Canada, ever flexible and accommodating, allows us a choice. It’s a paradox for one little person to have two official identities, but that’s the reality. The upside is that it will offer more choices for her later in life. Regardless, with a little patience, much paperwork and translation, and forking out a fair amount of coin over the past year or so, we’ve managed to receive passports, health care coverage, birth certificates and official Hoser and Nippon government IDs (see the I….AM….CANADIAN….TOO post from April).

The last stage was applying for her SIN card. For those of you unfamiliar with the grand Canadian institution called “the Social Insurance Number (SIN), [it] is a nine-digit number used in the administration of various Canadian government programs. You will require a SIN to work in Canada or to receive government benefits.” (Yep, quoted from the Service Canada website.)
There you have it. And we needed it. So I applied for it. And they lost it…in the mail.

To be fair, the long and short of it is that although the new SIN number (and some important other IDs we included to prove the validity of the application) seemed lost, the very efficient people at Service Canada found the errant letter, and sent it back to us here in Hiroshima. That saved me many re-application forms and midnight calls to New Brunswick. Kudos to the Service Canada staff.

End result? We have a winner! Rising Daughter has a SIN number. And after a year of paperwork, we are taking a rest.

No comments: