Living Wage - Salaire-subsistance

 
Today in Canada, more 1.3 million of our children live in poverty.  Low wages remain a significant barrier to all Canadians achieving self sufficiency through work. According to Statscan, more than a million people across the country worked for minimum wages or less last year, the fourth year in a row that this shamefully persistent number has been above the one million mark. While levels of education and experience have increased and productivity has grown, real wages remained stagnant from 1981 to 2004 while median wages have grown at a snail’s pace (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives).  Clearly, low wages are a large part of why so many working Canadians remain poor. 
 
Despite the need to address working poverty and the popular support for government action to do so, Canada’s elected leadership has been disturbingly timid on the wage-raising front. No recent increase to the minimum wage or poverty reduction strategy seriously addresses the issue of the sinking wage floor.
 
The need for a grassroots Wages Rising movement in Canada is clearer than ever!
 
ACORN members for the last 10 years have been fighting on a range of wage campaigns. ACORN members and allies won a precedent setting Living Wage Victory in New Westminster, BC. They fought the good fight in Ottawa for a Living wage that built momentum for Minimum Wage campaigns for  $10/hour in 2008 and $14/hour in 2014 in Ontario. 
 
Capacity from each campaign helps build the next and ACORN members from coast to coast are excited to fight!
 
Currently:
·       Living wage campaigns are just getting started in Toronto and Halifax.
 
·       ACORN members are fighting for a federal fair wage of $15/hour for a) workers under federal jurisdiction b) contracted employees and Employees of firms that enter into service contracts with the federal government and c) Employees of firms receiving economic development assistance (grants, tax abatements, low interest loans, etc.) from the federal government.
 
·        BC ACORN and NS ACORN are also fighting for $15 minimum wage campaigns!
 
 

Ontario Takes Modest First Steps Towards Poverty Reduction

Earlier Today, Ontario MPP Deb Mathews released the McGuinty administrations Poverty Reduction Plan.

The plan contains a series of encouraging steps as well as number of clear challenges.

First, the good news; The plan commits the province to reducing Child Poverty by 25% in 5 years and contains some new money for a number of poverty reduction programs including the Child Tax Benefit, the Rent Bank Fund and for the hiring of new employment standards officers to crack down of bad employers.

Now, the challenges; Scaled to the population of Ontario, Quebec made the equivalent of $1 billion of new annual investments in poverty reduction during the early years of their plan. Ontario has only committed to spending $300 million, some of which may have already been allocated. Further, the plan calls on much of the resources required to be meet the goal of 25 in 5 to be committed by the Federal Government, with no hint as to whether or not the Fed's would actually provide the resources.

Work isn't Working for Ontario Families

There have been two important developments in recent weeks of ACORN members taking the lead in the fight to put low and moderate income voices at the center of the discussion around poverty reduction.

First, on May 14th, 40 leading ACORN members traveled from across Toronto to Queen's Park to press their elected representatives on our Provincial Platform. ACORN  members  met with senior members of the Ontario Government as well as the Provincial NDP Caucus  and   brought with them a clear message:

Cap Payday Loan Rates - Ensure that the rate cap in the payday loan legislation focuses on returning money to working families.

License Temp Agencies - To fund pro-active inspections of labour conditions and  set maximum charges that agencies are able to charge employee's for work placements.

Raise the minimum wage - To $11/hour and peg it to inflation.

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