Should public sector wages in Alberta be higher to match a higher cost of living?

As the MacKinnon Panel report on Alberta’s Finances showed, it is a misconception that Alberta’s cost of living is higher than other big provinces. That may have been true at different times in Alberta, but it is not the case today. In fact, Alberta’s overall cost of living – measured by a comparison of provincial taxes and utilities in key cities in each of the provinces – is lower than the comparison provinces.

Note: Figures are also available at $40,000, $100,000 and 125,000 levels of total income
Source: Saskatchewan Provincial Budget 2019–20m pages 59 to 62
  Calgary, AB Vancouver, BC Toronto, ON Montreal, QC
Provincial Taxes        
Provincial Income Tax $2,858 $2,230 $1,719 $4,483
Tax Credits and Rebates (846) - - (3,168)
Health Premiums - 900 750 1,232
Sales Tax - 1,811 2,865 3,604
Gasoline Tax 394 666 294 444
Household Utility Costs        
Home Heating $735 $860 $968 $1,577
Electricity 1,156 821 1,283 625
Telephone 361 362 378 378
Auto Insurance 3,015 2,225 5,203 1,899

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