Skip to main content

“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

While many have called for what they term a ‘living’ wage, the question has to be asked, exactly what should that be?

I’m not sure why, however I woke up this morning wondering what the minimum wages were for BC, and across western Canada.

Both the provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba had increases to their minimum wages on October 1st ... Saskatchewan to $11.32 per hour, while in Manitoba a 30-cent increase took it to $11.65.

Meantime in Alberta, they have a two-step minimum wage.  Those under 18 receiving $13 per hour, while those over 18 receive $15 per hour.

Here in BC, the minimum wage is $13.85 an hour; that rate was set back on June 1st of this year.
'Living' wage requirement in BC according to
the Living Wage for Families Campaign
According to a BC government media release, our provincial increases are the result of recommendations from the independent Fair Wages Commission, established in 2017 to advise government on an approach to raising provincial minimum wages with increases that are regular, measured and predictable.

The release went on to say by June 2021, the provincial minimum wage will reach at least $15.20 per hour.

While many have called for what they term a ‘living’ wage, the question has to be asked, exactly what should that be?

Would it be, for example, the ‘average’ weekly earning for employee’s in British Columbia?  According to Statistics Canada, that currently is $993.66 – or roughly $25 per hour.  I think it’s safe to safe that would be suicide for our economy and prices would escalate to unimaginable levels.  It would also send employment levels spiraling downwards as thousands of people would be laid off.

The Living Wage for Families Campaign, thankfully, has a different idea of what is required stating:

The living wage is the hourly amount that each of two working parents with two young children must earn to meet their basic expenses (including rent, child care, food and transportation) once government taxes, credits, deductions and subsidies are taken into account.

So how much is needed then?  Again, looking to the Living Wage for Families campaign, they have indicated that ...

... the 2019 living wage for Metro Vancouver is $19.50 per hour ... Columbia Valley ($15.92) ... Comox Valley ($15.97) ... Cranbrook ($14.38) ...Fraser Valley ($15.54) ... Greater Trail ($18.83) ... Greater Victoria ($19.39) ... Kamloops ($15.93) ... Nelson ($18.46) ... North Central Region ($14.03) ... Parksville - Qualicum ($15.81) ... and Revelstoke ($18.90).

I am unsure how many two-parent families are bringing in a combined hourly wage of between $30 to $40, however I would have to think that number would be low. I also have to think that single-parent families are well below that figure, making it extremely difficult to care for, and raise, and young family.

Even more low-income housing ... universal pharmacare ... universal childcare ... universal dental care ... food subsidies?

There’s only two places that monies for this can come from; taxes from those in the workforce, and for businesses. 

Given the current state of BC resource industries however, which in the past have funneled a large portion of revenues to government coffers, this seems highly unlikely – highly unlikely unless changes are made so that BC’s forest industries can get off life-support, and the resource sector, especially oil and gas, have an opportunity to begin operations without years of red-tape and roadblock to navigate.

That seems unlikely however with our current NDP government of Premier John Horgan.

So, what thoughts do you have on this topic of minimum wages, a living wage, and how far society should go to aid and assist single parents and families?  I’m interested in what you have to say.

The living wage cost is calculated annually in
Working for a Living Wage: Making Paid Work Meet Basic Family Needs in Metro Vancouver, a report published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives BC office, First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition and the Living Wage for Families Campaign


Popular posts from this blog

It seems the call for blood donors is being responded to, however ... “This effort is a marathon, not a sprint” says Canadian Blood Services

A week and a half ago I wrote the commentary ... “ While the national inventory is currently strong, an increase in blood donor cancellations is a warning sign of potential challenges to maintaining a health inventory of blood ” It was written as a result of talk about a potential blood shortage that would occur if people stopped donating due to the COVID-19 virus. It seems the call to Canadians was responded to, however, as I was told this afternoon ... “ T his effort is a marathon, not a sprint ”. As it now stands now, donors are able to attend clinics which are held in Vancouver (2), Victoria, Surrey, and in Kelowna, so I asked if there any plans to re-establish traveling clinics to others communities - for example in Kamloops, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Revelstoke or Cranbrook, and perhaps further north at perhaps Ft. St. John? According to Communications Lead Regional Public Affairs Specialist Marcelo Dominguez, Canadian Blood Services is still on

FEDLSTED -- Rules will have to relax-- the question is how and when

The media has created a fervour over the mathematical models that allegedly help governments predict the future of Coronavirus infections in the general population. Mathematical modelling has limited use and value. We need to understand is that the data available on Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in Canada is far too small for statistical reliability. The data available for the whole world is useless due to variables in how nations responded to Coronavirus infections. There is no commonality in steps taken to combat virus spread and no similarity in the age demographics of world nations, so the numbers you see on the daily tracking of world infections are not useful in developing a model of infection rates that can be relied on. Mathematical models of the future spread of Coronavirus are better than nothing, but not a whole lot better.  Mathematical models must include assumptions on virus spreads, and various factors involved. As they are used in projections, a small erro

When necessary – and only when necessary – the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program can attach (garnish) wages

Alan Forseth ~~ Kamloops, BC ~~ May 15th Earlier this week (Monday May 13 th ) the BC government announced it would be establishing a new Crown agency to oversee the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP).   They indicated that on or before the end of October, the provision of family maintenance services would transition from a contracted service provider, to the newly created Crown agency. Apparently, this was to ensure that family maintenance enforcement services for vulnerable British Columbians continue uninterrupted. Seeing this story, reminded me of a woman ( we’ll call her Mary Brown ) who had email me some time b ack about this very thing, and questions she had about how maintenance enforcement was imposed and enforced. She said to me, “ I’m just curious if you can get any statistics of the homeless men and woman, that have children, that they are paying family maintenance in support of their children”.  “I am not about to sugg


Show more