Living wage drops in the Comox Valley

Living wage drops in the Comox Valley

A report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) reveals the living wage has dropped in the Comox Valley — for the first time in a decade — by eight per cent, from $16.59 to $15.28 per hour.

“Which means that life is more affordable for families with young children,” Courtenay-Comox MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard said.

Living wage refers to basic costs for a family of two parents and two children, ages four and seven.

Leonard said the CCPA largely attributes the decrease to the NDP’s child care program.

“We have the Affordable Child Care Benefit, and the universal Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative, so they are attributing it very specifically to that, and they highlighted the reduction in MSP premiums,” Leonard said. “This is a really big thing because we know that we have the highest poverty rates for children in Canada, and we are working very hard to improve that situation. This is going to go a long way. It’s demonstrating we’re going in the right direction, because the story of child poverty is very much a story of low wages.”

Leonard notes that 77 per cent of families are coupled, but more than half of B.C.’s “poor kids” live in two-parent families.

“So it is a significant number of people who are seeing the benefits of our government policies.”

The minimum wage, she notes, will jump to $15.20 by June 2021.

(It is currently set at $12.65.)

“It would be ideal to have the minimum wage and the living wage being the same thing, but we have something to celebrate today because we’re getting closer to our goal,” Leonard said.

While lauding government investment in child care, Living Wage for Families Campaign organizer Halena Seiferling says the living wage decline will be short-lived without sustained public investment in key family expense areas, especially housing.

“We call on the provincial government to take similar bold measures in other policy areas, especially on the high and rapidly growing cost of rent,” Seiferling said in a news release. “Maximum rent increases should be tied to the unit rather than to the tenant to protect housing affordability, and existing, affordable housing stock must be protected.”

The Comox Valley Social Planning Society is embarking on a living wage campaign to increase the number of local living wage employers.

“We are really encouraging local employers to pay a living wage and become a living wage employer,” society president Bunny Shannon said.

Interested businesses can find out more at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

12-year-old Ella Smiley captured some video of orcas on a sea lion hunt on Nov. 28 at Kitty Coleman Park, just north of Courtenay. Photo by Ella Smiley
VIDEO: Orcas hunt sea lion near Kitty Coleman Park

Twelve-year-old Ella Smiley, of Comox Valley Wildlife Sightings, caught up with a… Continue reading

The School District 71 DPAC hosted an online forum for candidates hoping to fill a vacant board of education position. Screenshot, SD71 DPAC Facebook page
Six make their pitch to fill empty school board seat in Comox Valley

District’s parents advisory council hosted the online forum for Area C candidates

Many of the static aircraft displays are decorated in thousands of lights for almost the entire month of December at the airpark on Military Row in Comox. Photo by Erin Haluschak
VIDEO: Christmas lights on display at 19 Wing airpark

Per COVID-19 rules, viewing of the display is strongly encouraged by vehicle and not exiting the car

GP Vanier grad Samantha Rebitt has earned the 2020 Governor General’s Academic Medal, with an academic average of 99.8 per cent. Photo supplied
GP Vanier announces its 2020 Governor General’s Academic Medal winner

Samantha Rebitt had a near-perfect 99.8 per cent academic average

The suspect in a Nov. 22 attempted robbery at the Ryan Road 7-Eleven has been arrested. Photo supplied
Courtenay man arrested in connection with attempted robbery at 7-Eleven

A 19-year old Courtenay man has been arrested following an attempted robbery… Continue reading

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Letter to the editor.
LETTER – Horgan’s election promise of COVID relief cash is money foolishly spent

Dear editor, Would you dip into your child’s registered education fund to… Continue reading

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

JumpCamp CEO Patrick Kitto shows off his technique. Photo by Brett Kroeker
Comox Valley snowboard organization holding annual snowboard drive

Christmas is coming so it’s time again for JumpCamp’s annual Santa Snowboard… Continue reading

Dave Wallace coached the Parksville Royals for 23 years. (PQB News file photo)
B.C. baseball community mourns death of legendary Vancouver Island coach Dave Wallace

‘All who knew Dave and his passion for the game will miss him greatly’

B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

Most Read