I have used Net meeting to chat to my brother in France. You obviously need a microphone and some speakers. As neither of us have broadband the quality is variable, but it works. There is an easier way to do it if you both have XP I believe. In my case I have ME, so Netmeeting was the only option. You MUST have the latest version of Messenger or it will not work. When you start communicating with the other person in Canada via Messenger, in the Tools ( I think) you will then have the option to talk to them. Just follow the instructions, it is quite simple.
follow the advice given but if you get probs try yahoo messenger which i find slightly better with cam and mike although msn messenger 6 has better visual, also make sure you both have the same version messenger, i use both worldwide no probs.