Boy, it’s expensive and less filling

canada expensiveAs my Canadian experience grows with each passing day, I am becoming more and more aware of how expensive things here really are – in Ontario at least, where I live.

From everyday stuff to mid and big-ticket items, the prices are really astonishingly high. Another thing which has had me really stumped is the fact that there is a weirdly limited variety of goods for such a developed, rich country. I have been actively frequenting malls, supermarkets and department stores, mainly for a price-watch, so believe me when I say that, the shopping experience here feels very unfulfilled, and quite honestly – too obsessed and overblown with price-trickery and “fine printed” promotional marketing gimmicks, plus of course, the tax (more on that below.)

I am continuously reminded by others of how everyone has become so cynical of things sold with US-styled-and-influenced marketing gimmickry, which is considered a cruel Canadian joke, because in the US there’s plenty to choose from plenty who make to plenty who consume, whereby in Canada, the heavily-taxed, over-surcharged, and extreme-levied goods are fewer and less reachable to the small middle class, again unlike in the consumer-driven US economy. Note that I am a member of the middle class now, earning the average mid-level Canadian salary, so it is not that I am writing this from an immigrant-guy-on-welfare‘s point of view.

I realize these are quite blatant assumptions without any proper citation or point of reference or even examples, but these are my initial thoughts and observations on the matter, which I intend to study more and thus further refine my theory. Earlier, I have already made a mocking plea with my “Please Display Prices with Taxes” campaign. I wanted to write about the whopping and outrageous 14% government of Ontario sales tax automatically charged with every retail purchase, but will dedicate an entire post to that later.

Also, don’t get me wrong with the title of this post or my apparent critique. I am not saying that it is necessarily bad. There are many viewpoints amongst people regarding this phenomenon. But the most prevalent ‘reason’, if I may call it so, appears to be Canada’s (Ontario?) being a welfare-based economy. So, in order for Canada to pay for welfare, health and stuff like infrastructure maintenance, etc, she must wedge a big slice off everything.

But more thoughts on that later.

First Published: September 15th, 2006


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