The hidden cost of living

Most would agree, though not all, that it is cheaper to live in New Brunswick than in Ontario, Alberta or BC. Obviously, this depends on your income, where you live in province, etc. but on average it would be cheaper to live in NB than Ontario. To put it another way, a person making $50k/year in Ontario would have less disposible income than in New Brunswick.

I have looked at the data and for the most part this does hold – particularly in the larger urban centres. Housing costs are more. Entertainment costs are more (one presumes because there are more entertainment options). And, yes, even insurance costs more in Ontario than NB – check this I’m right. Property taxes tend to be more as a result of higher valuations. Etc.

But it would seem that for out of pocket health care costs – NBers get the shaft. From today’s Globe & Mail:

If you live in B.C., had heart surgery and were prescribed medically necessary drugs to aid in your recovery, you would pay $200 annually. If you live in Saskatchewan, you would pay $800 for the prescription. If you live in New Brunswick, the same drug treatment would be as high at $1,400. Only one in 10 Canadians has insurance that covers 100 per cent of out-of-hospital drug costs.
In fact, for the most part, the richer the province, the more lucrative the coverage of health care costs. Remember Canadian’s on average pay out of pocket (or with insurance) for 1/3 of all health care costs. If these start to get out of control in New Brunswick, this will erode any cost of living advantage.

But having said that, there’s no easy solution. Bernie has already plowed 75% of all new money into health care since he came into office (according to gov. data).

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0 Responses to The hidden cost of living

  1. Anonymous says:

    I hate to rain on your parade, but I’ve just been studying this very issue.

    Gas prices in New Brunswick are more expensive, often as much as ten cents a litre.

    While some housing costs are cheaper it varies widely. In new suburbs the prices are quite close, the big difference is that if you want to live rurally in NB you can get some real bargains. However, in general a home will be about 30 grand cheaper in a major city-which isn’t THAT much.

    Of course we are talking about southern ontario, not northern or eastern. The big difference that I was looking at was in apartments-which the majority of people live in (I think, you can check). Anyway, rents are actually cheaper in most ontario cities, the one I know of because we talk about it is Waterloo, and statscan census shows that rents are two hundred dollars cheaper on average than in Fredericton.

    For entertainment the only real measure would be movie prices, which are identical. Franchise movies retail at the same price all across the country.

    Property tax in New Brunswick and most southern ontarian cities are virtually identical on average homes. On a home worth $200 grand the average is about $2100 a year.

    Food staples are virtually identical, no doubt thanks to the fact there are only two real distributors and retailers in the country.

    Power rates are also identical, but are about to skyrocket in New Brunswick, while there is no way of knowing what the heck they’ll do in Ontario, they’ve been stable for several years now.

    Insurance I don’t know about, but I find it hard to believe that its much cheaper in NB, especially after that montrous increase of several years ago. It also increased in Ontario, but not nearly as much as in NB.

    So add all that to the medical costs and its not good news any way you slice it. I doubt Home Depot has much different prices across canada, it would be interesting to compare Irving lumber at Kents vs an ontario home depot. Likewise something like Majesta or Cavendish, which are made locally.

    Add into that the fact that in southern ontario the average family earns almost 20% more than in NB and its no surprise that New Brunswickers have the least savings and investments.