(Quesnel – September 7, 2016) The Living Wage for Families Campaign congratulates Quesnel on becoming the second municipality in Canada to implement a living wage policy. By adopting a living wage policy for its direct staff and contractors, the City of Quesnel is making it a little bit easier for working families to meet their expenses.
The living wage is a regional calculation that looks at the amount that a family of four, two adults working full year, full time, need to earn to meet their expenses. The living wage for the North Central Interior is $16.52/hr.
Mayor Bob Simpson, who initially brought forward the policy, said the city was especially concerned about seeing people as key investors in the local economy "if people can barely afford to live where they work then they cannot participate fully in the local economy or be engaged in their community, either as participants or as volunteers.”
BC is a leader in Canada’s living wage movement. New Westminster was the first municipality in Canada to become a Living Wage Employer and the Huu-ay-aht First Nations was the first First Nations government to certify as a Living Wage Employer. Parksville, Port Coquitlam and the City of Vancouver have recently passed living wage policies and are moving towards implementation. There are 65 Living Wage Employer’s across BC covering over 6500 direct staff and countless contracted staff.
“The majority of our certified employers have less than 50 employees,” observes Deanna Ogle, the campaign organizer with the Living Wage for Families Campaign. “This demonstrates the strong commitment and contribution of small businesses to the economic health of local communities. It is great to see a municipality match this commitment through certifying as a Living Wage Employer.”
The Living Wage for Families Campaign encourages employers to pay a living wage as well as advocates for government policies that would help families make ends meet. The Living Wage for Families Campaign is hosted by First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition. Living wage is calculated annually and includes basic expenses like: rent, food, transportation and child care; the living wage does not include savings for the future, home ownership or debt repayment.
For further information, contact:
Deanna Ogle, Campaign Organizer, Living Wage for Families Campaign
Teann Ingram, Communications Clerk, City of Quesnel