It's time for the City of Regina to become a living wage employer

The Saskatchewan Office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) has announced the latest Living Wage calculations for the city of Regina.

In response, Andrew Stevens, candidate for city council in Ward 3, would like to see the City of Regina join a handful of Canadian municipalities and hundreds of U.S. cities and take concrete steps to become a Living Wage Employer.

“From Port Coquitlam, British Columbia to Cambridge, Ontario, municipalities around the country are stepping up to the plate and becoming Living Wage Employers,” said Andrew Stevens. “If elected to Regina City Council, I will look at steps to make this vision a reality.”

The nationally-recognized methodology uses cost-of-living data such as rental prices, child care costs, utility rates, and transportation costs to calculate what a living wage would be for a family of four. The calculation found that the Living Wage for Regina is $16.95 per hour.

Currently almost a quarter of all workers, or about 28,000 residents of Regina, earn less than an hourly living wage, and over 40 per cent of households earn annual incomes that fall below the CCPA figure of $61,766.

“Since the Living Wage project started in Regina, the cost of living has continued to rise and wages have not kept up,” said Stevens. “Boosting workers wages is a proven anti-poverty strategy and one way of addressing the affordable housing crisis in Regina. I think about people like my mother, who works full time and still struggles to make ends meet. Shawn Fraser inspired me to run for city council because of the work he did on this important issue. If elected, I commit to advancing this policy and to see Regina become a Living Wage Employer.”