Living Wages

CCPA: Making Ends Meet: Toronto’s 2015 Living Wage

It has been six years since Toronto’s living wage estimate was calculated at $16.60 in 2008.

Since then, the cost of living has gone up: the cost of child care has risen by 30 per cent; rent has increased by 13 per cent; the cost of public transit has grown by 36 per cent. This report updates Toronto’s living wage to reflect what it takes for two working parents with two children to make ends meet in 2015. It’s based on the needs of a family with two parents and two young children ages 7 and 3. Each of those parents needs to earn $18.52 per hour, and work 37.5 hours per week, in order to afford the basics in life in this very expensive city.

Broadbent Institute: The Wealth Gap

In a new nationwide survey among 3,000 Canadians conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Canada for the Broadbent Institute, Canadians were asked about their perceptions of inequality and the distribution of wealth in Canada. The findings demonstrate that Canadians vastly underestimate how skewed the distribution of wealth actually is and think there should be a much more equitable distribution.

Metcalf Foundation: Better Work: The path to good jobs is through employers

Written by Metcalf Innovation Fellow and labour market policy expert Tom Zizys, the paper examines our under-performing labour market and challenges the popular notion that the threat to good jobs is inevitable.

Better Work chronicles the economic and political changes that have brought us to our current situation. It reconstructs the advent of our global economy and reflects deeply on its effect on employment practices. Central to its thesis is a simple proposition: workers are not a cost to be constrained but, rather, an asset to be invested in.

Among industrialized countries, Canada has the highest proportion of residents with a post-secondary education. Yet we also have the highest rate of degree holders working in jobs earning half the median income or less. We know there are many external factors at play, and that a rise in precarious employment and the widening gap between knowledge sector and entry-level jobs is creating income disparity. But the question remains, are we responding to the emergence of technology, globalization, and increased competitiveness in the most efficient and equitable way? Are our workplace practices, labour market institutions, and the norms and values that shape our economic thinking supporting the best interests of both employers and employees?

Metcalf Foundation: Profiting from the Precarious: How recruitment practices exploit migrant workers

There are over 338,000 migrant workers in Canada. This number has more than doubled since 2006. As Canada increasingly relies on a work force of transnational migrant workers with temporary status, an industry of third-party for-profit recruiters has emerged to match workers with jobs in Canada.

This report exposes how temporary foreign workers are paying thousands of dollars in recruiting fees — equal to as much as two to three years’ wages in their home currency — to work in minimum wage jobs in Ontario.

A People's Budget

The People’s Budget campaign was initiated as a response to the continuing evidence of the failure of the austerity agenda. Austerity measures have had a devastating impact on the people of Ontario, particularly its most vulnerable citizens. When even organizations such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Economic Forum are calling for a reconsideration of the austerity agenda, it is time for Ontario to chart a new course.