Metro Vancouver living wage dips for first time in 11 years: CCPA

Minimum wage
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives attributes the drop to provincial childcare funding. The Canadian Press/AP, Elaine Thompson

For the first time in 11 years, the living wage for Metro Vancouver has dropped.

That’s according to the left-leaning think tank Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), which says the 2019 living wage for the region is $19.50 an hour, down $1.41 from last year.

The living wage is defined as “the amount needed for a family of four with each of two parents working full time at this hourly rate to pay for necessities, support the healthy development of their children, escape severe financial stress and participate in the social, civic and cultural lives of their communities.”

At $19.50 per hour, a two-income family would earn a combined income of $70,980.

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The report says that on a monthly budget, that would allow families $882 for food, $2,021 for shelter and telecommunications, $554 for transportation and $1,401 for childcare.


According to the CCPA, the dip comes even as the cost of living in Metro Vancouver continues to rise. It argues that dip is largely due to new provincial funding for childcare.

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“The core takeaway from this year’s calculation is that public investments to improve childcare affordability are making a difference and helping families with young children weather cost increases in other areas,” states the report.

READ MORE: B.C. to raise minimum wage to $15.20 an hour by June 2021

“Without the B.C. Affordable Child Care Benefit and the fee reduction initiative, the Metro Vancouver living wage would have been $22.47 per hour.”

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However, the group says that at $19.50, the living wage is still far higher than the province’s minimum wage.

The current B.C. hourly minimum wage is $12.65 and is set to climb to $13.85 in June and $15 by 2021.

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