A new wage report released this week says workers in Canmore need to earn more than other workers in Alberta to make ends meet.
The Alberta Living Wage Network (ALWN) says people living in mountain communities will need to earn about $32.75 per hour to “cover their basic expenses and participate in the community.” .”
Organizations that are part of the network say this number is an important statistic to keep in mind when considering the impact of the affordability crisis.
“Clearly more needs to be done to help people make ends meet,” said Meaghon Reid, chief executive officer of Vibrant Communities Calgary.
“Alberta is the only province not to consider and raise the minimum wage by 2022 and one of the only provinces not to tie the minimum wage to the cost of living. It’s time for the government to act and deliver giving Albertans the help they need,” she said.
This year’s living wage is based on the hourly wage needed for a household to “maintain a modest standard of living” after government subsidies and tax breaks.
“It assumes that each adult is working full time and covers more than the basics of food, clothing and shelter – it also takes into account unexpected costs, small investments in education , child care and community engagement,” ALWN said.
While some may see the data as an added strain on local businesses when they are reviewing payroll, ALWN says that is not why the data is being released.
“(It is) instead shedding light on the reality of the cost of living in cities and towns across Alberta,” it said.
Canmore’s community social development manager, Lisa Brown, calls ALWN’s work an important source for them to understand which expenses affect the cost of living the most.
“The living wage provides context for affordability concerns that are a fact of life for so many people in Alberta,” she said. “The town of Canmore is a founding member of the Living Wage Network and continues to support the network by working to understand Alberta’s diverse economic landscape.”
ALWN is made up of community and city organizations with the common goal of promoting the coordinated living wage movement.
This is the second year the network has provided living wage data in communities in Alberta.
Living Wage Data 2022 (ranked highest to lowest)
- Canmore: $32.75;
- Fort McMurray: $22.50;
- Calgary: $22.40;
- St. Albert: $22.40;
- Cochrane: $22.35;
- Rocky Mountain House: $21.85;
- Edmonton: $21.40;
- Drummers: $21.20;
- Spruce forest: $20.70;
- Plain stone: $20.40;
- Lethbridge: $20.30;
- Drayton Valley: $19.65;
- Big Meadow: $19.65;
- Red deer: 19.65 USD; and
- Pill cap: $17.50.