Friday, September 21, 2007

The big news for Canada

Most of the news last week in Canada has been on the fact that the Canadian dollar is almost at par with the US dollar. The last time that it was at par was in 1976 (more than 30 years ago). What is so special about it? Well, depending on which perspective you are coming from, there are ramifications. For example, as a consumer there are savings to be had depending on what products are being purchased. Produce and diary products are way cheaper in the US than in Canada but not everything could be brought back into Canada. Books are cheaper in the US, for example, Steven Feurestein's Oracle PL/SQL Best Practices retail for US$19.79 on but it's CAD$48.95 on!

A friend of mine recently got all his paperwork completed to bring a brand new Honda CR-V back into Canada from the US. The savings to him was about $10,000. Music CDs and DVDs are not cheaper but airline flights are. I know that the car manufacturers have provided directives to the US dealers to ensure that they don't sell new vehicles to non-US residents which I thought was absurb and there is currently a class action lawsuit launched in Toronto against the car manufacturers associations in both the US and Canada alleging price fixing and collusion.

Me, I am going to enjoy doing some shopping (big ticket items) to save some serious $$$. ;)


Anonymous said...

Hey Peter, I live in Canada as well but I don't believe our spending power has increased... I know this is a limited example but pick up any product that has both Canadian and US prices. You'll find that we are still paying 30% or so more for a product than it costs in the US. I've been watching this ever since our dollar has climbed from the 60's. Now, if you cross the border and shop your dollar goes much farther but I believe in Canada the importers are raking in the $$.

Just like the Mad Cow issue years ago.. When the border closed between the US and Canada beef prices plummeted. However, the price of a steak didn't go down at the retail level.

Peter K said...

Yep, that's why there is such a lineup at the border nowadays. A good example is the NEXUS application fee (US$60 compared to CAD$85).