If you haven’t heard the news, for the first time in over 30 years, the Canadian Dollar reached equivalent value to the US Dollar.

Soon it will be the Canadians, not the Americans, tossing out the other country’s change. “Damn worthless american nickels — I *hate* when I get these things.”

But other than that, and the pride and bragging rights of phrases like “The Almighty Dollar” now having a truly ambiguous reference, what does it mean to every day Vancouverites?

A disclaimer that calling myself any kind of financial analyst would be a stretch at best, there are still the less esoteric effects:

* It’s actually been in the works for quite some time because of the climbing Canadian dollar, but many book publishers have finally caved and marked down the Canadian prices on books and magazines. I saw this firsthand last night at Chapters, where many book jacket prices were covered with a new price sticker with a greatly reduced cost. They’re not quite trusting enough to print one-for-one list prices, but a 10% higher Canadian price is still far better than the 60% higher price that some books listed — they hadn’t been fair for a long time.

* According to the CBC [cbc], significant numbers of Canadians are heading south of the border to pay cheaper US sticker prices for luxury cars and other expensive goods. So even if the iPhone does go on sale here, it may still be a better idea to buy one in Bellingham anyway.

* And not to be forgotten, the CAD-donation-based “Mr. Eh” item in the satirical web-based role-playing game Kingdom of Loathing [kol] may now give equivalent stat gains as the USD-donation-based “Mr. Accessory”. So now Canadian players can flaunt their Canadianity without sacrificing their stats. Sometimes it’s these little things that make life worth living.

5 Comments so far

  1. keith lim (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 1:51 pm

    It doesn’t seem to be *quite* at parity yet, at time of this writing. But so close. The US dollar is still stronger, but only by about a quarter-cent as I write this. (That’s a quarter-cent of either currency, with the conversion done in either direction–it comes with the two currencies being almost equal and all that.)

  2. Matt (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 3:40 pm

    True. I believe that the parity line has only been crossed for instants at a time at this point (perhaps only for a single trade or two), so at any given time the Canadian dollar value has been hovering at just under parity.

    Wonder how many days it will take before it closes solidly ahead….

  3. Ghosty (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 4:01 pm

    I hate to imagine what the border line’s are going to look like this weekend with the border shoppers :)

  4. Ryan Cousineau (unregistered) on September 21st, 2007 @ 1:44 pm

    Matt: the drunkard’s walk that is the routine movement of currency is such that if you could accurately predict that the CAD was going to close above the USD in the next six months or so, you could make a lot of money.

    Of course, if you were wrong you’d lose a lot of money.

    Besides, this is effective parity: note that bank rate “buy” and “sell” transactions now bracket the 1:1 ratio.

  5. Mari (unregistered) on September 21st, 2007 @ 4:01 pm

    Isn’t it funny. The average American dosn’t know about this and maybe they wouldn’t care anyhow. Other than those living in a border town the average bear simply won’t know about it. Its our time to gloat but of course we’ll be polite and won’t.

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