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Victoria, BC: Living Wage Protects Community's Future
Times Colonist
Sue Stovel

August 31, 2010
View the Original Article

The editorial on Esquimalt council's consideration of a living wage for employees and contractors was short-sighted (Aug. 28).

Our region is one of Canada's most expensive to live in, mainly due to high housing prices, and we are losing far too many young people and their families as a result.

The "living wage" just covers the necessities and the Community Social Planning Council should be recognized for thorough research and annual updates on the economic realities for families living in this region.

We need decent paying jobs in our community or wealthy retirees will be the main demographic able to live here. That is not a basis for a healthy, sustainable community.

Yes, many small businesses are not able to raise wages to this "living-wage" level immediately but they have demonstrated many other ways to attract and retain employees.

The Quality of Life Challenge website (qolchallenge.ca) has many stories about businesses and their creative ideas for retaining loyal staff.

Let's not accept the lowest common denominator. Aiming for a living wage for all employees in our region will create a vibrant community that supports young families and our region's future. Congratulations to Esquimalt council for placing this issue on their agenda.