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.
“Being a Living Wage Employer – and the first among our industry peers in the three provinces where we have offices – reflects the importance we place on fairness and equity in the way we run our business,” says Jim Gilliland, President, CEO & Head of Fixed Income, on Leith Wheeler becoming a certified living wage employer.
Leith Wheeler is one of Canada’s largest independent, employee-owned investment management firms. Headquartered in Vancouver with offices in Calgary and Toronto, they manage the investments for institutions like pensions and foundations, Indigenous communities and organizations, and individuals and their families across Canada.
"Aside from just being the right thing to do, being a Living Wage Employer signals to prospective employees what the firm's ethics are, and so helps the company attract new hires with similar values," Gilliland continues.
Living wage campaigns are growing across the country. BC has certified 16 local governments, including The City of Vancouver. Alberta only just started in November 2021, but already has 58 certified employers. It's not inconceivable that as we grow together and fill in more of the country with living wage rate coverage, we will see larger national employers certify.
Congratulations to the leadership at Leith Wheeler! As the living wage becomes more prevalent in all parts of this country, let's remember they were the first lead by example at a national scale.