Living Wages in BC and Canada

Living Wages in BC

Living Wage for Families BC works with communities across BC to calculate their local living wage.

The living wage is the hourly amount that each of two working parents with two young children must earn to meet their basic expenses (including rent, child care, food and transportation) once government taxes, credits, deductions and subsidies are taken into account. It does not include debt repayment or savings for future plans.

In a province as diverse as BC, communities differ when it comes to their cost of living. For example, while some communities may have lower housing or child care costs, others may have lower-cost public transit or easier access to goods and services.

No matter where they live, families should be able to afford a decent life. There are jobs that need to be done in every community, and therefore people need homes, services, and a good quality of life in every community. A regional calculation allows communities to identify policy advocacy that would address poverty in their community.

List of Living Wage rates

Columbia Valley-  $17.18
Comox Valley - $16.44
Fraser Valley - $16.75
Grand Forks - $17.21
Kamloops -  $16.71
Kelowna - $18.49
Metro-Vancouver - $20.52
Nanaimo - $16.33
Nelson - $19.56
Penticton - $18.55
Revelstoke -  $19.51
Sunshine Coast - $19.79
Trail - $18.15
Victoria - $20.46

Living Wages in Canada

LW-Canada-logo.pngMore and more communities across Canada are taking action in response to this country’s increasingly high levels of low-wage poverty. Why? They want everyone to afford the basic necessities of life, to live with dignity and to actively participate in their community – they want a living wage.

Living Wage Canada supports this national living-wage movement through facilitated learning and information-sharing. The site’s Canadian Living Wage Framework provides a consistent living wage definition and calculation methodology, and a strategy for recognizing corporate and community leadership who commit to passing a living wage policy.

Showing 8 reactions

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  • Wendy D
    commented 2021-11-27 11:20:06 -0800
    Sorry but Nanaimo needs some recalculation. Housing costs are at the same as Vancouver and Victoria but there is still a significant shortage. A three bedroom rental will run you $2500 minimum, meaning two working parents in this scenario would be expected to spend 45% of their income on housing alone. This not sustainable, especially with two children. Not to mention the lack of transit system which makes commuting from nearby areas impossible without a vehicle.
  • Biggi Ferguson
    commented 2021-11-11 13:55:36 -0800
    I think every municipality needs to increase brainstorm efforts by a 100% to increase housing security for all. Yes, not an easy task but we know the current situation is dire and not sustainable. Housing insecurity is a sign of unwellness of a community. I feel secure and can cope within my means at the moment, yet I feel the ground shaking all around me. Perhaps you do too. Bunkbeds, tents, campstoves, heaters still require a place to put.
  • Biggi Ferguson
    commented 2021-11-11 13:54:39 -0800
    Sadly these living wage amounts do not reflect the currently desperate and vastly growing needs of single, one parent, two parent income earners. Currently rentals are $2000 for a 2 bedroom apartment in Parksville, $ 1400 for a 2 bedroom is one of the lowest rental available in Courtenay if you are not too demanding. Bunkbeds are one way to try to deal with the basic needs of having a roof to sleep under if you are a multy person family or in a shared household situation. Oh, but some city and land lords don’t actually allow the sardine can coping method of "can’t afford more then a studio apartment for my family. " This is a WTF situation for many!
  • Debby Rix
    commented 2021-11-08 16:56:57 -0800
    living wage for one person would have to be more like 40 an hour to put a roof over your head pay for food, health insurances a dental plan, vehicle all costs encountered, heat, and that is the mere basic existence. Not all people have the luxury of being able to share costs with to live.
  • Sean Stacey
    commented 2021-07-13 16:46:34 -0700
    I too would like some updates on this, especially considering the pandemic we went through. One thing I can say that’s good news is the company I work for at has been trying hard to raise its wage for workers. We clean commercial and high rise windows across Metro Vancouver and pay our employees more than our competitors, which is forcing our competitors to raise their wages as well in order to keep their best employees. I think if more local businesses did this then it would raise the average wage fairly quickly.
  • Jacob Dolan
    commented 2021-05-01 12:09:59 -0700
    Have we made any progress? How can we push this further?
  • Samuel Lai
    commented 2020-01-07 22:49:21 -0800
    What is the current living wage for metro Vancouver in 2020?
  • Samuel Lai
    followed this page 2020-01-07 22:49:00 -0800