Calgary’s updated living wage is $18.15 per hour as a result of extensive research done by Vibrant Communities Calgary (VCC), which is higher than Calgary’s minimum wage.
Franco Savoia, Executive Director, VCC says that the updated living wage is a proxy but states that since 2014 the costs for food and rent have increased, based on the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation and Statistics Canada.
VCC recalculated Calgary’s living wage based on the Canadian Living Wage Framework, which provides a consistent living wage definition, and calculation methodology.
On October 1 the increased minimum wage will be in effect for Calgary at $11.20 per hour. This number, you will notice, is roughly $6 short of the $18.15 per hour living wage. This difference reflects the continued struggle between Alberta’s minimum wage and the living wage requirements for Calgarians to achieve “a basic level of economic security”.
“When the cost of living and wages are out of balance, people struggle to afford housing and other basic needs.” Said Brian Pincott, City Councillor, Ward 11. “With a job, working Calgarians should be able to afford basic costs of living as well as be able to save for education, recreation and life’s little bumps in the road.”
The living wage calculation focuses on what two working parents in a family of four must bring home, based on the actual costs of living in a specific community.
VCC aims to bring Calgarians together and advocate for long-term strategies that address the root causes of poverty.