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Community Social Planning Council

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- 2017 Living Wage for Greater Victoria is $20.01/hour

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2017 Living Wage for Greater Victoria is $20.01/hour


April 26, 2017

The cost of living has increased, but the Living Wage has decreased (marginally) for the second year.

A report released today finds that the wage needed to cover the costs of raising a family in Greater Victoria is $20.01 per hour. The decrease is partially due to the introduction of the Canada Child Benefit and partially by the increase of the maximum amount parents can claim for child care expenses federally. While this decrease shows the power of policy in lowering living costs for families, the Living Wage for the capital region still demonstrates that the cost of living continues to be high and that families feel like they are not getting ahead. Approximately 16% of children in the capital region live in families experiencing poverty.

  • Read the full 2017 Living Wage report here.


What is the Living Wage?

The Living Wage Rate reflects the real costs of living through the hourly wage required to enjoy an adequate quality of life in our region. The Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria calculates and releases this number each year, based on the best data available about costs in our region.


Living Wage for Families Campaign

When we look behind the number to see the costs that drive that required wage rate, we have an opportunity to engage our community in dialogue around strategies to prevent and reduce poverty. Our region’s affordability, especially the high costs of housing, childcare, and health care, affects our ability to sustain a healthy and vibrant economy and community.

Working poverty is a Canada-wide issue. Working poverty is a Canada-wide issue. Over 50 communities across the country, including 21 in BC, have active living wage campaigns and are advocating to improve quality of life for low-wage workers.

Over 80 companies and organizations across BC, employing more than 8,000 workers and covering many thousands more contracted service workers, have been certified as Living Wage Employers. These include Pacifica Housing, Huu-ay-aht First Nations, Vancity, the United Way of the Lower Mainland, Quesnel, Port Coquitlam and ProActive Hazmat & Environmental. In 2015, the City of Vancouver committed to begin working towards implementing a living wage policy; seven local governments across BC have living wage polices.


Working Together, Let’s Make Life More Affordable in Greater Victoria!

Greater Victoria is becoming a region that is simply unaffordable for families raising children. Our future is not sustainable, so we all need to work together to drive changes that will allow families to thrive, and employers to attract and retain high-quality workers.
Social Planning is the process of understanding community needs and using socioeconomic indicators to support policy decisions that drive community well-being and prosperity. Through tools like the Living Wage, the Community Social Planning Council seeks to engage partners from all sectors to take action to reduce costs of living, increase incomes, and reduce poverty. Here are some of the actions that community partners can take to address affordability:
Public Decision-Makers:
  • Support the development of affordable housing options in neighbourhoods
  • Begin to legalize secondary suites in all municipalities
  • Improve accessibility and reduce costs of child care
  • Explore solutions to reduce costs of transportation
  • Support the implementation of Living Wage policies for your public-sector organization
  • Create more opportunities for local suppliers through procurement practices.
  • Look at wage scales to see how long a person must be employed before earning a wage required for an adequate quality of life. Consider how you can work with employees to sustain higher wages through training, productivity improvements and reductions in turnover.
  • Besides pay increases, look for other ways to improve the quality of life of your lowest wage earners such as flexible work hours, subsidized bus passes, on the job training.
  • Learn more about your staff’s housing and child care challenges and solutions.
  • Demand the same integrity you aspire to from your suppliers and colleagues. Look beyond the lowest financial offer and consider how the firms you deal with treat their employees when awarding contracts.
  • Consider ways you, your business partners, and your employees can work together to reduce costs of living related to child care, housing, food and transportation.
  • Speak out to elected decision-makers and municipal officials in support of the development of affordable housing, transportation and child care options in your community.
  • Consider your wage rates when hiring people for work around your home
  • Shop with locally-owned businesses to promote a healthy local economy