Statistics Canada: Manitobans are better off than Saskatchewanians

Published: August 29, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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Manitobans are financially better off than Saskatchewanians according to new data compiled by Statistics Canada. Taking information for 2016, the organization says auto insurance is one area where Manitoba is besting Saskatchewan.

However, in numerous other financial categories, Manitobans are in a better position. Over 17 financial expense areas, residents in Manitoba spend more than those in Saskatchewan in just one category.

“We’re always looking at those comparatives with Saskatchewan being our neighbouring province and being the most like Manitoba,” Manitoba Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Chuck Davidson told The Reminder. “When we’re looking at attracting companies to this province, those numbers are very important, and I believe Manitoba does well.”

Manitobans spent on average $12,000 less on day-to-day expenses, although average income in the in the province is $6,000 lower. However, people in the province also save more, earning $4,000 more than they spend.

In terms of auto insurance, Manitoba’s MPI (Manitoba Public Insurance) has lower average premiums ($1,027 per year) compared to SGI (Saskatchewan Government Insurance), at $1,049.

Both provinces operate public insurance models where all basic auto insurance coverage is handled by a crown corporation.

“Manitoba is a lot more cost-effective and that’s a benefit to us,” Davidson said. “I’m sure the government of Saskatchewan keeps a close watch on this.

“When you look at the cost of living, there are so many factors that need to be taken into consideration . . . When you look at take-home pay and provincial sales tax and income tax levels – and the fact that, in some cases, the taxes are at a higher level – that seems to be the equalizer. It might seem the cost of living is lower, but the take-home pay in some cases is different. There are additional costs that are not as negative on the pocketbooks in places like Saskatchewan and Alberta.”