Living-wage policies gain traction

But business group says ‘very flawed’ policies increase unemployment
By Shannon Klie
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/26/2008

Joe Ceci would like the City of Calgary to spend more money on labour.

The alderman wants to see his city adopt a living-wage policy. A living wage, often higher than the minimum wage, is the amount an individual needs to earn to afford to live without social assistance or food banks. There are 139 cities and counties in the United States with a living-wage policy, yet none in Canada has a similar policy.

But that could change as at least four jurisdictions — Calgary, Hamilton, Waterloo Region in Ontario and the Town of Pelham, Ont. — are currently considering living-wage policies for employees and contractors.