We live in, no surpises to anyone here, one of the most expensive places to make ends meet in British Columbia
The recent announcement from locally owned and operated Stay Wild Natural Health, to become Living Wage certified, has drawn attention to the gap that exists between what it takes to live here and what people are trying to make work.
Kudos to Stay Wild’s owner Leah Langlois for investing in her community and her staff, and joining 350 other Living Wage certified businesses across BC.
What would it look like across the Sea to Sky, if more employers (especially the big ones), followed suit? Imagine the financial barrier between local resident worker and tourism guest starting to dissolve, as opposed to polarizing more and more dramatically? Imagine the financial inequities between First Nations and settler to dissolve?
A living wage is different than a minimum wage. The minimum wage is the legislated minimum set by the provincial government.
A living wage is an invitation for employers to do better and ensure that wages reflect the true costs of living in a community and that parents can earn what they need to support their families.
Living Wage for Families BC encourages employers to pay a living wage as well as advocates for government policies that would help families make ends meet.
Living Wage for Families BC calculated $24.08/hr as the living wage rate for Metro Vancouver – a wage that reflects the true costs of living in a community.
A living wage is the hourly amount a family needs to cover basic expenses.
- Rental housing
- Child care
- Small savings to cover illness or emergencies
The living wage calculation is based on a two-parent family with two children – the most common family unit in BC – and each parent working full-time.
It’s a bare minimum that doesn’t cover r additional expenses such as:
- Debt repayment from credit cards, loans or other interest payments
- Future savings for home ownership, retirement or children’s university education
- Anything beyond minimal recreation, entertainment and holiday costs
- Costs of caring for a disabled, seriously ill or elderly family member
If you think this is a shift in a good direction, support Stay Wild – spend your money there, when and if you can – it’s one way to let businesses know that you value them for supporting their staff.