Rising costs should not come as a surprise to many people. When was the last time you ever saw something go down in price? I’ve had countless backpackers in Canada mention by email or in person that they’re surprised how expensive some things are in Canada. They tend to be curious as to why we’re paying way too much money for certain items.
If these items are available at a lower rate in other countries, why can’t they be offered at a lower rate in Canada as well? The simple answer is because Canadians are used to paying more than Americans. It’s a fun country but when it comes to costs of goods, the people of Canada are used to taking it on the chin.
Below are 4 of the most common things Canadians willingly and knowingly pay too much for.
Canadian Internet connection Prices
Every home relies on internet connections and most people have no choice but to pay the bill every month when it comes due. Of course, the total amount of the bill is usually dependent on whether the internet connection is delivered by DSL, Fibreoptic, Cable or Wireless. Certain connections cost more than others and people who use wireless internet in their homes will need to pay for a router too. Another thing to take into consideration with internet bills is the Usage Based Billing that went into effect back in 2011 in many ISP’s. Most of the Usage Based Billing Plans allow users a specific number of gigabytes of transfer a month and then a surcharge is added to the bill for anything over that.
The surcharge is equal to one or two dollars for each gigabyte over the limit. Internet companies are now allowing their customers to bundle their internet plan with their home phone and cable to save some money. However, the charges that customers are being billed for at first are an introductory rate and that rate increases after a designated amount of time.
Compared to other countries Canada is still far from the most expensive. But we’re around the middle of the pack, despite prices getting cheaper across the world. The biggest gripe I have with Canadian internet is that price per MBPS is still much slower in Canada than in much of the other world. If you’re going to be staying for any length of time in Canada and plan on setting up your apartment rental with internet, just be prepared for a $50 – $100 per month for some decent internet.
Canadian Mobile Phone Plans
There are not too many mobile phone carriers in Canada and without competition the prices on mobile phone plans are not likely to drop. A study done by the CRTC shows that Canadians paid more for monthly service plans than eight other countries. An entry based wireless plan with only 150 minutes of talk time can cost about $41 each month.
However, a plan with 450 minutes of talk with 300 text messages averaged $49 a month. A plan with unlimited talk and text and 10 gigabytes of data in Canada is going to cost quite a bit more and the study found that Canada had the second highest rate for this plan of the countries in the study.
The one exception in Canada with slightly cheaper rates is in Saskatchewan of all places. This province is one of the last places that still has a government owned ISP & Cell Phone Provider. That extra provider forces Bell, Rogers, and all of the other ones out there to compete with their prices. You can usually save anywhere from 15 – 20 dollars per month by getting a plan in Saskatchewan.
Domestic and International Flight Costs
Canadians pay quite a bit more than other countries when it comes to international air travel. Most of the time people are paying almost $95 for every 100 kilometres of their travel when they are flying internationally. For this reason, it is understandable why many people travel to the United States to fly to other countries. Domestic air travel is a little bit better and Canadians are not paying as much as other foreign countries. People flying domestically in Canada are only paying approximately $39 for every 100 kilometres of traveling they are doing.
While some people say that the distances between the cities are the reasons why the costs are so high, others are stating that the higher costs are from the fees that the airports and government charges. Others still blame the lack of competition. Looking for more information on Canadian Airlines? Check out my Air Canada VS Westjet VS Porter Airlines airline comparison post.
Canadian Alcohol Prices
The price of alcohol in Canada is almost twice as high as it is in the United States and the main reason for the price difference is that the Provincial Governments regulate not only the minimum prices on alcohol, but the taxes on the alcohol as well. Many people in Canada believe that the higher prices are justified, because people are not going to be able to afford to drink as much alcohol as they want to. Since people cannot drink as much, they will stay healthier and not need medical care as often. In some minds, this creates a culture where alcohol is consumed in moderation instead of being consumed more freely and often.
These four items are costing Canadians more money than they would in almost any other country. Most of these items are a necessity for many people and there is not really a good way to avoid many of these high charges. The best piece of advice I can offer is to shop around, look for deals and sales to save money. Or put on your best Canadian impression and learn to take it on the chin.