Canada’s Potential For A Living Wage

Headlines are covering a common trend called, “Living Wage.” You might be asking yourself, what kind of wage is this? A living wage can help workers earn an income that can meet basic needs and allow them to participate in their communities. This type of income is based on the amount you earn in correlation with the cost of living in a specific community.

Canada is in need of a living wage.

Canada is in need of a living wage.

Living Wage in Toronto

In contrast to minimum wage, a living wage can cover many expenses. Expenses such as child care, transit, cell phones, recreation, family outings and a yearly vacation could be covered. Kaylie Tiessen from the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives’ Ontario office (CCPA), presented a report on living wage. This report shows a method that can calculate Toronto’s living wage.

To find the living wage in Toronto, you use your average expenses to calculate the hourly rate of pay that is necessary for a family to meet their basic needs. CCPA’s model uses a family of 2 adults with 2 children to meet their basic needs after taxes, transfers, and payroll deductions.

According to the CCPA’s model, the living wage in Toronto is $18.52 per hour. In contrast, the minimum wage is currently at $11.40 per hour. As you can see, a large amount of Ontario workers currently depend on 61.5% the amount of what is actually needed to meet their basic needs

Trudeau’s View on Living Wage

On February 17, 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave a speech during the St. Matthew’s Day Banquet in Hamburg, Germany. During this speech, Justin Trudeau had hinted at the need for a living wage across Canada.

Trudeau eloborated on how business leaders need to think beyond their responsibilities to their shareholders. Business leaders also have an equal responsibility to support their workers, the worker’s families, and the communities that support them.

In a quote by Justin Trudeau during his speech in Germany, “It’s time to pay a living wage. To pay your taxes. And give your workers the benefits – and peace of mind – that come with stable, full-time contracts.”

Living Wage Conclusion

The living wage is an ideal movement that can offer a lot of assistance. Contract workers, third party contractors, and all staff of the city’s agencies and boards can benefit from this wage. Keep in mind that this is just a movement and has had no real implementations. If you are in debt, you should not depend on this movement to arrive, it is better to act now.

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