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).