Canada & the US are THE most expensive places. In Canada there's a new Wireless Code going into effect that's supposed to be more consumer friendly, and there's a lot of rhetoric from the big 3 (yes, we only really have three telecom companies in the mobile space, the small players are negligible) that's like "oh we're not that expensive, the US is worse!" which is true if you only look at the big US telecoms. If you take into account all telecoms, Canada should be even more expensive than the US (which is why both "the US is more expensive" and "look at the great plans in the US" can be true at the same time).
Anyway the US is a horrible comparison to begin with, the entire rest of the world has rates much much lower than it is in NA. There is so little competition, in fact, that the big 3 can pull **** off like this: they used to all do 3 year contracts, now the Wireless Code says you can only do 2 year. Instead of making their offerings better, however, they all just jacked up the monthly price of their plans and in some cases reduced what you get for it, so you still end up getting screwed just as much.
Example, Rogers' budget-ish brand Fido, used to have a $25 plan that gave you 200min talk unlimited eve/wknd, unlimited text, unlimited domestic long distance, standard extras included (caller id, voice mail, etc.). The same plan is now $30 and only includes 100 min talk time. If you want data, the cheapest plan at Fido is $45, gives you same as above but 200min talk, and 200mb data. That's an extra $15 on top of the already ludicrous price for a mere 200mb of data (and 100 more minutes, meh). If you want 500mb data, that starts at $55.
In contrast, Ting, owned by Tucows (a canadian company), operates in the US on a pay-what-you-use basis. For $33 - about the price of the cheapest Fido plan with no data - you get 500 minutes, 2000 texts, and 500mb data. And that's in the US! In fact, if you were a Ting customer and roamed into Canada, you'd be paying LESS per minute than a Canadian customer would on a pre-paid plan at Fido.
And this is typical of the big 3. Most of them are even more expensive actually. That's why I laugh in the face of anyone who claims that their cellphone plan is a good deal. I'm paying 50% right now for a while, and that only just brings my price down to regular rest-of-the-world levels. Also shows you how extorbitant their regular pricing is.