Well to kick up some dirt on an old post. Yeah Calgary's rates are up there. As a mechanic and shop owner there is a lot more to it than what I charge and what I pay. I'm a one man show and charge the same hourly as everyone else and even at that its difficult. Just to keep my doors open with rent, utilities, insurance, equipment (be it lease ,rent, buy, software updates, anything) costs me average 3500 a month. That's 39 billed hours a month. Parts help make up some of that. Now if I had employees that's going to cost more. All the deductions on your cheque your employer has also paid. So heaven help me if a piece of equipment breaks down or I have to buy a new piece of equipment such as a scan tool due to the fact they have now changed vehicle computer systems and some require an entirely new unit not just an update.
In the cities if your a good diagnostic tech yeah you can be makeing 50 an hour easy. But not your general techs. Lots of big busy shops will have one or two techs diagnose the vehicles and the techs repair accordingly. I have a few Calgary customers who if they can explicitly wait for their repairs and come to see me. I've repaired some that have been called unfixable or in one case the guy spent 3 grand at dodge over a year and they didn't fix it. I had it for an afternoon and it was 600.