Municipal Living Wage 101


A handful of Canadian municipalities have implemented living wage bylaws, and many more are on the verge of implementing the policy. Municipal living wage bylaws are legally enforceable policies ensuring that workers employed by a city and those contracted using municipal funds will be paid enough to meet basic family living expenses.

Municipal living wage bylaws are legally enforceable policies ensuring that workers employed by a city and those contracted using municipal funds will be paid enough to meet basic family living expenses. A living wage is not the same as the provincially legislated minimum wage. Instead, the living wage is calculated based on the amount a family requires to meet basic expenses, such as housing, child care, food and transportation. The calculation also incorporates government taxes, credits, deductions and subsidies. The benefits of living wage policies include:

  • Fairness and community values
  • Healthier, happier communities
  • Low cost to implement
  • Strengthening local economies

Implementing a municipal living wage policy is a way local governments can directly improve residents lives and put widely held community values into practice. This document provides facts, figures and resources to get you started in developing a living wage policy at the municipal or school board level.

 


About Centre for Civic Governance

The Centre for Civic Governance works to support community leadership meeting today’s social and environmental challenges: climate change, Canada’s increasing equity gap, and shifting social trends. At the Centre for Civic Governance, our goal is to strengthen Canadian communities through sharing best practices, providing tools for locally elected leaders, and progressive policy analysis. We strive to provide knowledge and information to make real and positive social change.