Graphic produced by Social Planning Cowichan shows Living Wage data

Living wage for all far from reality

The Cowichan Valley is the eighth most expensive place for a family to live

The Cowichan Valley is the eighth most expensive place for a family to live according to a comparison of 18 B.C. communities, included in the a 2016 Living Wage Report published by Social Planning Cowichan (SPC).

Two parents working full time have to each have an hourly wage of $18.81 to achieve income security, the report states. That’s the amount they have to earn to meet monthly expenses the SPC calculates add up to $5,520.

Living wages in cities like Vancouver ($20.64) and Victoria ($20.02) have to be even higher to make ends meet, but remote communities like Clayoquot Sound ($19.27) and Golden ($20.46) are also more expensive.

In the lexicon of family incomes, a ‘living wage’ is one that affords a healthy standard of living, and that makes it possible for families to break the cycle of poverty.

“A living wage is the hourly pay a family would need to receive in order to cover basic expenses such as food, clothing, rental housing, transportation, childcare, and a small amount of savings for illness or emergencies,” says the SPC report, which is posted at socialplanningcowichan.org.

“The living wage calculation considers factors that promote healthy child development, the ability to participate in activities that are an ordinary element of life in a community, as well as avoiding the chronic stress of living in poverty.”

B.C.’s minimum wage and its poverty line do not come close to the standard set by a living wage.

The ‘poverty line’ in B.C. in 2015 for a two parent family of four was pegged at $39,196 in 2015; that compares to an income of $66,240 needed to meet the monthly expenses calculated in the living wage report.

But B.C.’s minimum wage of $10.45, the lowest in Canada, would not bring in enough to get a two parent working family of four over even the low bar of the poverty line, according to the SPC report.

“Two parents with two children, both working full-time, full-year at the current minimum wage would have earned $38,038 in 2015, leaving them $1,158 below the before-tax poverty line of $39,196 for this family.”

In areas, like the Cowichan Valley, where the cost of living is higher, the discrepancy becomes even more stark.

 

 

Just Posted

RCMP seek motorists allegedly racing on highway in Chemainus prior to bridge crash

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP are searching for two motorists who were allegedly racing… Continue reading

#MeToo at work: How reporting sexual harassment works – and how it doesn’t

British Columbians have four options to report harassment or assault, but none of them are easy

Ladysmith woman fundraises for sister, family left homeless by Chemainus fire

A Ladysmith woman is raising money for family members left homeless after… Continue reading

Ladysmith woman who jumped from ferry meets rescuers

A local artist who survived five hours in the frigid waters of… Continue reading

Stz’uminus artist John Marston helps carve Yos totem pole for Malahat Nation lands

Project involving collaboration between Marston, Moy Sutherland Jr. and Malahat Nation youth

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Want to be on map of ‘must-see’ Christmas lights from Ladysmith to Chemainus?

Created a holiday masterpiece on your front lawn ? Have a neighbour… Continue reading

Multiple-vehicle crash in Nanaimo shuts down section of highway

Emergency crews responded at about 2:50 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15, to a four-vehicle collision

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Accused B.C. drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

This is second death linked to the Thomas fire, northwest of Los Angeles

Most Read