A Money Coach in Canada

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According to Stats Can on Friday Oct. 5th, we Canadians are nearly all employed!

In September, we dipped below the 6% unemployment rate. Not only that, but our employers increased our hourly rates by an average of 4.2% (did yours??) while the cost of living increased by only 1.7%. Oh Canada!

Upon our Loonie flying to par with the USD, witty comments on metafilter:

  1. Man, you guys are screwed. Now who’s going to buy your maple syrup?
  2. I think this is all part of a massive worldwide conspiracy to keep Americans home
  3. You owe me 96¢, Haughey!
  4. See? I knew keeping that bag of Canadian change from ’02 around was a good idea! I’ve made, like, four dollars (Canadian) just by having it sit there!
  5. sucks to be me. i live in canada and get paid in US dollars.
    it’s like a >$10k pay cut and i didn’t even get demoted 🙁
  6. Turns out those people threatening to move north when Bush was elected weren’t raving hippies- they were canny financial geniuses!
  7. So does this mean that the strippers at the Sundowner aren’t going to be as frisky when I pull out my roll of greenbacks next time?You should see what they do for Canadian Tire money!
  8. O Canada!Loonie
    Ill-omened rate is panned!
    Blew eighteen thou to visit Newfoundland.With groaning hearts we see fees rise,
    The new North conquered me!Sums par decried!
    O Canada, remand dinar to me!

    God lend your hand to penurious bourgeoisie!
    O Canada, remand dinar to me!

    O Canada, remand dinar to me!

  9. The dollars last met each other as equals a week after Darryl Sittler scored ten points against the Boston Bruins. Going by that, I’m hoping the Leafs will have a good season this year.
  10. The last time this happened was ’76, anyone remember what has happening then?
    I was born, so basically, my life is at net zero, in at least one measure.

cdn-penny.jpgWith our dollar at par, many Canadians can’t help but notice how much less expensive it would be to purchase a car in the US these days. And with NAFTA an all that, this would be an option of us, you’ think. Here’s Judy’s experience:

So you’re a Canadian and want to buy a Toyota? Excellent choice. Great car.

But oops! The price. About $10K more than the identical vehicle in the United States

Well, how ’bout buying one in the US and having a bit of a vacation during the three days it takes to get a US export permit?

Canada Customs is very helpful, providing a pamphlet called, “How to import a car from the U.S.” And all they will ding you for is the gst. No duty.

Then comes the brick wall. Whammo! That friendly American salesperson you were negotiating with sadly informs you that he is not allowed to sell to you.

“What? Who, me? Am I such a pariah?” Yes, you are. Because you’re Canadian, that’s why.

Canadian Toyotas are still priced as though the Canadian dollar were still around 63¢ US. That accounts for the 30% difference. Somebody in Toyota must be getting very rich selling in Canada.

An irritation, though, is that stream of Canadians going to buy Toyotas in the US – what a hew and cry from Canadian dealers! The remedy? Forbid US Toyota dealers to sell to us Canucks. Disregard the discrimination. Disregard the Canada – US Free Trade Agreement. Protect the obscene profits made by Toyota in Canada.

Editors note to Judy: you’re not alone in your disgust! CBC did 2 features – one on the general question: when will consumer goods start being evenly priced in Canada? And another specifically on the car issue – apparently a class action lawsuit alleging conspiracy is being taken against four car companies and the canadian auto association.

Readers: what are you thoughts on this? Are the higher prices in Canada justified, or is it a complete rip-off?

So in 1992 the top 5% of Canadians had 21% of the wealth.  As of 2004, they have 25%, according to a stats can release a couple days ago.  The rest of us middle-income earners haven’t had much of a change.

More intriguing stats:

To be in the top 5%, you need an annual income of $89K. (in the US, you’d need $165K)

1 in 4 of the top 5% is a woman.

If you’re tempted to be bitter, take some consolation – the top5% paid 36% of the taxes CRA received.

debt sucksDon’t know about you, but I sure remember graduating from UBC, liberal arts major, and whamo! Having to start forking over $300 each and every month for 10 freaking years. When my business, Your Money by Design, is a multi-million going concern (give me a couple more years, lol) I will put money behind lobbying against sending our young graduates out to start their life saddled by this kind of debt. Granted, I probably could have scrimped a little more, but still, this was no way to start out in life.

Thank goodness, the federal gov’t is now taking public input on this matter. Will it make a difference? One can hope – and at least, speak to the matter. Feel free to c.c. your comments to the gov’t below! I’m interested: am I the only one who feels this way?

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