Sometimes you can really feel the difference between minimum wage and what you need to earn to truly make a living. The living wage in Canada differs between provinces and territories but it's pretty bad all around. Major cities across the country have living wages that are out of sync with minimum wage.
According to Living Wage Canada, a living wage is how much money that you need to make to support yourself. To calculate the living wage, they look at a healthy family of four, with two parents that work full-time, cost of living including transportation, food, housing and other expenses.
For some of Canada's major cities, the living wage is high. And it's often higher than what minimum wage is in the provinces based on the Retail Council of Canada's numbers for 2019.
"Communities across Canada are responding to the increasingly high levels of low wage poverty," states Living Wages Canada. "They are advocating that families should earn an income sufficient for them to pay for the basic necessities of life, so they can live with dignity and participate as active citizens in our society."
Of Canada's major cities, Winnipeg has the lowest living wage. In 2017, the living wage was $14.54 an hour. However, in 2019, minimum wage in Manitoba is only $11.65 which is not enough to make a living wage, even in the most affordable city.
Calgary's living wage is a bit worse than Winnipeg's. To make a living wage in the city, a person would have to earn $18.15 as of 2017. Meanwhile, the minimum wage in Alberta is only $15.
The living wage in Whitehorse is $19.07 per hour in 2019 which isn't the worst in the country but it's definitely not the best. The minimum wage in Yukon is set at only $12.71.
Toronto and Vancouver are not the worst ones when it comes to living wages in Canada this year which might come as a surprise to some. Even though the amount needed to make a living wage is still way far off from the minimum wage, it's not the worst it could be.
The worst living wage in Canada is in Yellowknife. In 2019, to make enough money to truly have a living wage, a person would have to earn $23.95 an hour. That's more than $10 higher than the minimum wage in the territory which is $13.46.
It's hard to make a living and survive out there. Especially when you factor in that house prices are expected to continue rising and the differences between minimum wage and what a living wage should be.