Cost of Living in the Far North

I read this article, and I was shocked to learn just how expensive food is in Nunavut. About three times the cost of what I’d expect to pay in Toronto.

I had a thought of ‘what can they expect,’ as everything has to be flown in since very little can be grown there. Some places have subsidies and/or higher wages to balance these expenses, but in a way (devil’s advocate) why should I make heaps more money working at a Tim Horton’s in Iqaluit than at one in Winnipeg? Clearly I need to learn more about economic theory. And it feels ironic writing this from Australia where food (and everything) is far more expensive than Canada, and wages are similarly high ($15.51/hr for adults [ref]) but as I understand it, their mining-led economy is booming so the money is flowing.

A Redditor replied to the link, opening a discussion worth reading in his/her first paragraph about the rights of Native Canadians. I don’t want to presume enough to offer an opinion here.

Back to the original purpose of the post, I wonder what should be done: Reduce food prices, raise wages, lower taxes or otherwise subsidize, or try to grow food in the region. That last one is at least worth considering, because remote greenhouses would tackle the problem at its source, and could be economically feasible. (Maybe?)
And I’ve heard before the concept of an urban greenhouse, to reduce the distance from field to market to plate in a world that cares (or should care) about carbon footprints.


Posted on June 10, 2012, in Random and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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