Leith Wheeler Certified Living Wage Employer in 3 Provinces

One of the goals of the living wage movement in Canada is to be able to certify employers with multiple locations across the country. We have one of our first tastes of this as we certify Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel Ltd., which also has offices in Alberta and British Columbia

In Ontario, we have been working together with our friends in the Living Wage for Families BC and Alberta Living Wage Network to synchronize our efforts and timeframes to this end. It has been really helpful to learn from the experiences and initiatives of other campaigns, and we hope to "share" many more certified employers in the coming years.

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Volunteer Board Search

In 2020 organizers with the Ontario living Wage Network (OLWN) created a federally incorporated non-profit called Living Wage Canada/Salaire Vital Canada. The OLWN had happily outgrown our host organization—the magnanimous Mennonite Central Committee Ontario—and it was time to launch a formal organization. 

We are still focused on Ontario operations, and will continue to conduct business as the OLWN in this province. But Living Wage Canada is also answering the call to provide organizational home to living wage leaders from across the country. There are currently 4 members of board, all from Ontario. We are looking to eventually add 5 more members. In addition to geographical representation we also look for diversity in identities protected by the Human Rights code, breadth of expertise/experience and, specialized skills and knowledge. 

For more details about this volunteer position, please head over to the Living Wage Canada board search page:

livingwage.ca/board


Libro Credit Union: Deeply Invested In The Living Wage Movement

Over five years ago Libro Credit Union, the largest credit union in Southwestern Ontario, became a certified Living Wage employer. It wasn't a surprise. They had been active at many roundtables and community groups concerned with—among other things—tackling the problem of working poverty. Like many organizations that make up the Ontario Living Wage Network (OLWN), Libro saw it necessary to lead by example and make public their certification.

Credit unions have always been early and potent champions of the living wage movement. We list 8 at the moment, with dozens of branches all over Ontario. In addition to being certified, we are pleased to announce that Libro Credit Union will be supporting the work of the Ontario Living Wage Network directly over the next three years with a generous annual financial contribution.

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First Certified Living Wage Employer In Peel: The Mississauga Food Bank Leads By Example

It has been a frequent request: "What is the living wage for Mississauga/Brampton?" Today, with the help of the Region of Peel and the Peel Poverty Reduction Committee we can now say that rate has been calculated at $19.80 per hour.

The Ontario Living Wage Network paused all calculation work in 2020, due to barriers to year-to-year consistency issues caused by the pandemic. We are excited to not only get back to this work in 2021, but to also add such a large and heavily populated area to our map of coverage. 

Local calculations are the starting blocks of the living wage movement; the real race is to certify as many living wage employers as possible. The problem of working poverty is understood well by our first certified living wage employer in Peel: The Mississauga Food Bank.

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It's #LivingWageWeek 2021

It's Living Wage Week, and we're very excited to announce 23 updated living wage rates across the province as well as a first-time calculation for Peel Region. 

Since we last made calculations in 2019, new policies that provide support to families with children have been introduced by the provincial government. Combined with  changing family demographics, it has become clear that expenses for a reference family of four is no longer the most representative for living wage calculations in Ontario.  

New supports for families with children meant that living wage calculations were coming back with reductions over the 2019 rates. Yet we all know the cost of living has not gone down. Inflation has quadrupled since the beginning of 2019 and is at a 18-year high. Our calculation was no longer reflecting reality. 

Our 2021 calculations now take into account a weighted average between a family of four, single parent with one child and a single adult. These 2021 living wage rates reflect changing demographics in our province and increases in inflation. We believe they accurately reflect the realities of costs in Ontario.

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FirstOntario Latest Living Wage Credit union

HAMILTON—The Ontario Living Wage Network (OLWN) is pleased to announce that FirstOntario Credit Union has become a the latest credit union to become a certified living wage employer, with all employees earning at least $16.45 per hour. In operation for over 80 years, FirstOntario serves more than 126,000 people with 31 branches throughout the Golden Horseshoe, Niagara Region and Southwestern regions of Ontario.

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Top London Landscaping Co. Joins Program

Award-winning TLC Landscaping is one of several London businesses to become a certified living wage employer recently. Over 100 people work for TLC, and none earn less than the calculated living wage rate for London of $16.20 per hour. 

As we do of all our new living wage employers, we asked Carla Bailey, Human Resources Manager why TLC chose to certify:

"As a company, we believe the more appreciation and consideration employees feel, the more enjoyable their work becomes, and the more energy they put into their work.

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Enviro Services Group Certifies Living Wage

KITCHENER—The Ontario Living Wage Network (OLWN) is pleased to announce that AET Group has become a certified living wage employer with all employees earning at least $16.35 per hour.

AET Group was founded twenty years ago as solid waste management company. They have since grown into multi-disciplinary environmental consulting, auditing and scientific services company. Scott Freiburger, Managing Director & CEO, explains why they became a certified living wage employer:

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London Manufacturing Advocate is Living Wage Certified

The Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising public and investor awareness of Ontario's advanced manufacturing ecosystem, with the intention of supporting growth and improving competitiveness. Brendan Sweeney, Managing Director, explains why they decided to certify:

"The Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing believes that paying the living wage, or more, demonstrates that we value our employees health and well-being.  A living wage demonstrates that we believe in the growth of our staff, community and economy."

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