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I never thought I would see the day that the Canadian dollar would be at $1.26 Yikes! With that 15% tax on things its no longer a bargain at all

I never thought I would see the day that the Canadian dollar would be at $1.26 Yikes! With that 15% tax on things its no longer a bargain at all

Sep 30th, 2004, 12:07 PM
  #1  
maletas
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I never thought I would see the day that the Canadian dollar would be at $1.26 Yikes! With that 15% tax on things its no longer a bargain at all

Boy did we have it good for a while. I cant believe that the US dollar is this low!I was in PEI last summer and was surprised that the people are taxed of the tax! You are taxed for either the federal and THEN AGAIN on the provincial.
Well we still make out a little on the dollar. Western Canada seems more expensive than Quebec and the Maritimes. Sorry! I hope I am not starting an argument over this. It just is alittle disapointing when your money sucks!
 
Sep 30th, 2004, 12:31 PM
  #2  
 
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You may be interested to know that some of us actually remember a time when the Canadian dollar was worth MORE than the American dollar.
It isn't that bad now, unless all you are looking for is an enormous bargain. Pity us poor Canadians who not only make less money than Americans (on average), but have to pay relatively more for everything when they travel to the good old USA.
So thank your lucky stars honey that you are where you are!!!!!
Borealis is offline  
Sep 30th, 2004, 12:50 PM
  #3  
maletas
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I cant agree with you two more! I do feel bad for Canadians travelling abroad.
Is there any chance that taxes could be lowered in Canada? I have heard that one of the taxes might be eliminated. Any truth to that?
 
Sep 30th, 2004, 02:23 PM
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Ahhh, Borealis, I DO remember that!!
Are we showing our age?I lived in Windsor and we used to shop in Detroit all the time and it was great.
Maletas, you're still a whole lot better off than we are when traveling. Imagine when we go to the States, never mind abroad. It isn't yikes, for us, it's yippie!
kodi is offline  
Sep 30th, 2004, 02:40 PM
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Canadians pay high taxes because they get services Americans can only dream of, including well-priced higher education, universal health care, a strong social safety net.

American lust to cut taxes mean significant sacrifices for those below the middle class.
MikeT is offline  
Sep 30th, 2004, 04:29 PM
  #6  
BAK
 
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Maletas ...

The sales taxes in Canada (with the exception of special taxes on gasoline and a few other products) are federal and provincial.

The federal government has a 7 per cent levy, called the Goods and Services Tax, or GST, on almost everything bought in the country. From a consumer point of view, it's on pretty much everything a tourist might buy. It gets more complicated on business-to-business purchases.

Then each province has the right to levy its own provincial sales tax. Alberta, the second province from the left, has lots of resource revenue, and the provincial government does not have a sales tax.

All the other provinces and territories do have a provincial sales tax. In most provinces, these are separate from the GST. In Ontario, for instance, there's the 7 percent GST and an 8 percent Ontatrio provincial sales tax, and these appear as two items on most invoices.

In several provinces in the east (and maybe in the territories in the far north; I'm not sure) the provincial and federal governments have combined the taxes, and use "Harmonized" as the description, as in HST.

Comparing US and Canadian prices is difficult. A great many items in Canada that are manufactured somewhere else in the world are priced at the US price, adjusted for the exchange rate.

This means there's no advantage for a Canadian to import whatever it is from the USA. For instance, a Nikon digital camera priced at $1000 in the USA would be somewhere between $1350 and $1500 in Canada. The $350-500 range depends on when the Canadian wholesaler and retailer priced the product, what the exchange rate was at the time, how many customers complain if the rate changes, and more.

In a meeting with the owner of a high-end photo equipment store a couple of weeks ago, he explained that he watches the US internet and mail order prices and adjusts his prices so that it's not worth the trouble for Canadians to order from the USA, clear customs, pay for shipping, and so on.

Some distributors are better than others for adjusting wholesale prices to adjust for exchagne rate changes. In the camera world, one flash gun distributor was always over-priced in Canada, as was one exposure meter company. For both of these products, ordering for the USA made sense.

Books published in the USA are usually priced in Canada to match a fairly recent exchange rate, rounded off. A $29.95 US novel might be $39.95 to $44.95 in Canada, depending on how current, and greedy, the publisher is.

Luxury goods are sometimes a bargain in Canada for US and European visitors. That's because a manufacturer might decide, for instance, than nobody in their right mind would pay more than $100 for a scarf. So it is $100 in Boca Raton in US dollars, and $100cdn in Montreal. (and then there's Canadian sales tax and Florida sales tax, so there's still math to be done.)

Whether Canadians earn more or less than Americans is hard to judge, because of tax rates (does gross income or disposable income count?), exchange rates, and cost of living get involved. That said, a quite comprehensive Can-Am survey a couple of years ago pegged the average pay of an association's members, (and they had similar levels of education and experience on both sides of the border) at $75,000us for the Americans and $75,000cdn for the Canadians. If the Canadians tried to buy US dollars with their pay, at the time they would have only managed to get $50,000us.

Some high-end US executives who get transferred to Canada manage to get paid in US dollars, or get extra allowances to cover higher Canadian taxes.

and some Canadians believe they are financially ahead when they move to the USA. A lot of recently graduated Canadian nurses, for instance, are recruited into the USA, and believe they are ahead for several reasons, including taxers and pay levels, plus lots just want to go to warm states.

How Canadians pay for health care varies from province to province, is always contentious, but at least means everyone can get treatment. A friend is just back from New Mexico where one of the people she met with has been suffering from an ailment for six months but can't afford to see a doctor. My friend came home sick last night, and by 10 this morning met with a doctor, got his advice, and simply showed his receptionist and Ontario health card. No money changed hands, and he'll be reimbused by the government.

In some sectors of the economy, including tourism, there are fundamental differences between Canada and the USA, and prices get involved.

Canada has relatively few discount motel chains with $30-50 per night rates, like Red Roof and Kinght's, and even Motel 6. There are a few of these, but it's not like in the USA, where you can easily travel across the country for fifty bucks a night.

Similarly, no / fewer cheap but really pretty good chain restaurants along the highways. i.e. Perkins, Cracker Barrel, Bob Evans, Shoney's, etc.

There's lots of independants, but not places where you can trust a reputation. At the lowest end, there's McDonalds, Burger King, etc., and economists have calculated the Big Mac index, comparing the price of a Big Mac worldwide to give an idea of local currency.

As for the US being expensive for us; assuming a Canadian makes $75,000cdn a year and an American makes $75,000us a year and both are having a nice dinner in Fort Myers for $100us, the Canadian has to pay an extra $35 from his vacation budget. It's better than paying an extra $50 a few years ago.

And if these two are having dinner in Toronto, that $100cdn dinner would, first of all, not be as fancy, and then the American puts down $100us on the table, covering taxes and tip. The Canadian puts down $100cdn, and then another $30 to cover tax (8+7 percent in Toronto) and tip.

But, taxes are conveniennt. To figure out the tip just add the Ontario and GST together. That's 15 percent, and match that for the tip.

About "morons." That's sort of hard to define, but there's no socialism in Canada, and anyone who thinks there is is is well on the way to meeting a definition of the m-word, or just is working from the disadvantage of non-knowledge.

Finally, $100cdn a night is the lowest reasonable rate without special discounts for a decent hotel in downtown Toronto. This is about $65-75 US, much better than a decent but inexpensive hotel in New York City, but more than in many other cities like Cleveland or Dallas.

Canada has few hurricanes, and, in the parts most people would go, weather that's no worse in the winter than in much of the USA. Denver? Calgary? Apen? Banff? Don't make no difference.

But we can't match Florida in February.

BAK
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Sep 30th, 2004, 06:59 PM
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BAK -
"Alberta, the second province from the left. . . ."

I wonder what King Ralph would say about that!!
Borealis is offline  
Oct 1st, 2004, 03:43 AM
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My family loves Canada and has been numerous times. Due to the dollar's falling value, Canada does seem to have gotten more expensive over the years, but we economize by staying at B&B's, making our own lunches, etc. The beautiful scenery and wonderful people are worth the sacrifice! Regarding Mike's comment about "quality health care," I recall reading about Canadian hospitals' dangerous multi-time reuse of one-use medical items because of budgetary problems in Alberta during our trip there in August. I've also heard about Canadians having to wait months for specialist appointments and surgeries and coming to the U.S. for care. Things are certainly not perfect in the U.S., but let me assure you that health care IS provided for the poor. In my own church we have 2 families with 8 children each who live on a very spartan budget. They go to local clinics which either charge on a sliding scale or are free. Our local paper just last week published a list of free clinics in the city with services ranging from family practice, pediatrics, and OB/GYN to dental, pharmacy, and mental health. Again, the system is not perfect, but there IS a safety net.
laurafromtexas is offline  
Oct 1st, 2004, 04:35 AM
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I think a lot of Canadians are happy to live in Canada (despite our complaints) and a lot of Americans are happy to live in the US (despite their complaints). In other words, yes, there are differences between the 2 countries, and we could debate them endlessly!
SusanInToronto is offline  
Oct 1st, 2004, 07:58 AM
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Are you kidding me! I think you've posted to the wrong site. Try writing a letter to that guy you call your leader.
daisyblue is offline  
Oct 1st, 2004, 09:52 AM
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I think mgmargate isn't as arrogant as he wants everyone to believe. On the other hand, if he actually isn't faking, he proves my point that many people won't pass up the opportunity of acting stupid in public. Of course, Sam_Salmon shouldn't be waiving that red flag about our moronic president, even if it's true. Such remarks are only inviting discussions which quickly degenerate into what we have now.
I'm from the US and visit Canada as often as I'm able, it being a wonderful country with wonderful people, and the exchange rate is helpful but only a side benefit for me.
Me thinks mgmargate might be suffering from presidential politics and may actually believe most of the dribble on TV coming from the major political parties. As for "socialism" I agree with BAK that mgmargate is woefully uninformed. If this is his definition, how does one explain away those pesky "socialist" perks we have in the US, such as medicaid/medicare, social security (where the vast majority of recipients receive in benefits much more than they ever paid into the system), government subsidies for the airlines and Amtrack which directly correlate into lower ticket prices, IRS regulations and laws which permit our citizens to deduct the cost of certain state and local taxes from our federal income tax, unemployment benefits, etc. etc. I could go on and on. I expect many Americans would view these as "benefits," presumably mgmargate , too. This tendency to throw out the word "socialism" harks back to the cold war and was as useless then as it is now. Bottom Line: let us not denigrate each other or our governments. We all have lots to be thankful for, and lots to gripe about. And let's keep this forum focused on travel. So, Sam_Salmon, if you don't like our politics, you are welcome to remain north of our border, and mgmargate, if you think Canada is so socialist, I'm sure you wouldn't want to take the chance of being exposed to it. Like mad cow disease, it is hard to catch, but who knows!
stringer is offline  
Oct 1st, 2004, 01:07 PM
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mmargate, do you search this whole site for posts that have politically-flavoured comments, so that you can chime in? Or are you perusing this board because you're planning a trip to Canada, and you just HAPPENED to see something that offended you? I ask because you seem to pop up on the Europe forum primarily when it gets political. If travel-related discussion isn't really what you're after, couldn't you find another venue for the political "discussions" that you seem to relish? Just wondering what your motivation is....
taggie is offline  
Oct 1st, 2004, 02:05 PM
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mgmargate - Name-calling is not a discussion, it doesn't in any way support any views or position that you may have. In fact, those with the least amount of information to support their philosophy find it much easier to resort to name-calling and to hide behind the reactions to those offensive names than to actually get into a useful and thought-provoking discussion. Just take a look at what our politicians do (on both sides of the 49th parallel). But it doesn't make them appear any smarter, it's obvious that they are just pandering to the lowest levels of discourse in the hunt for votes. That's why politics in both Canada and in the USA is essentially very disppointing (and why politicians in general do not have the good opinion of most people).
Borealis is offline  
Oct 1st, 2004, 02:16 PM
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Let's all remember that it was Sam who posted the original offensive remark.
laurafromtexas is offline  
Oct 1st, 2004, 02:21 PM
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LOL laverendrye!

Socialist?? Where on earth did you ever get that opion from mgmargate?? Do you have any idea how inaccurate that statement is?
atilla is offline  
Oct 1st, 2004, 02:22 PM
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oops - opinion
atilla is offline  
Oct 1st, 2004, 02:24 PM
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Right you are Laura, but it was mgmargate who has kept it going.
I thought that the original question was good - I mean - don't we all look at cost when planning for travel? And BAK gave an excellent response. But the name-calling is juvenile in my opinion and doesn't aid in understanding. I wouldn't have responded (thinking that response just encourages this kind of behaviour) but it seems that there is more and more of it on Fodors. Unfortunate. It is starting to turn me off this forum.
Borealis is offline  
Oct 1st, 2004, 02:32 PM
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Borealis, agreed.
laurafromtexas is offline  
Oct 1st, 2004, 02:34 PM
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and just to make you all even madder!!! we are travelling from Ireland and we make a nice little packet of cd$ for our euros. some of you could do with a dose of living here and then you will know what "expensive "is!!!!!!!!!
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