KITCHENER—The Ontario Living Wage Network (OLWN) has completed 10 living wage rate calculations covering all regions of Ontario, and now range from $18.05 in London to $23.15 in the GTA. All rates saw an increase, with largest jump in Sault Ste. Marie: $16.20 in 2021 to $19.70, representing a 21.6% increase.
Despite the recent increases to the minimum wage to $15.50, there is no region in the province where this is even close to a living wage.
A living wage is calculated by the OLWN to show how much a worker must earn per hour in order to make ends meet and enjoy modest participation in civic and cultural community. The calculations gather expenses for three types of households: two adults supporting two small children, a single parent, and a single adult. The results are then aggregated, and include any applicable government taxes, transfers, and benefits.
“Paying a living wage must be an integral part of responding to the affordability crisis that workers are facing across Ontario. There are over 500 living wage certified employers who recognize that their employees are integral to the success of their organization. Paying poverty wages is corrosive not only to the individual worker and their families, but to workplace health and productivity as well” says Craig Pickthorne, Communications Coordinator with the OLWN.
The OLWN has also updated the boundaries of the living wage calculations, moving away from municipal, county, and regional divisions. They now rely on Statistics Canada’s “Economic Regions”, which take into account commuting patterns. The result is complete coverage of Ontario with 10 calculations, making it the largest area with contiguous living wage rates in the world, with the U.K coming in second.
Craig Pickthorne, Communications Coordinator, Ontario Living Wage Network
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