Living wage nearly $20 per hour in Mississauga and Brampton

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Published November 1, 2021 at 11:59 am

The average household in Mississauga and Brampton needs to pull in nearly 30 per cent more than the provincial minimum wage to make ends meet.

According to the Ontario Living Wage Network (OLWN), a living wage is what people need to earn to cover the actual costs of living in their community.

Of the 23 communities on the OLWN living wage list for 2021, Peel Region had the third highest living wage rate at $19.80 per hour. Only Halton Region and Toronto had higher living wages at $20.75 and $22.08 respectively.

And with the provincial minimum wage set $14.35, the living wage in Peel is some 28 per cent higher.

2021 marks the first time Mississauga and Brampton were included on the list. The calculation considers food, housing, clothing, bills and childcare, among other factors.

According to OLWN, The Mississauga Food Bank is the first employer in the Region to certify that it is providing the recommended living wage.

Candace Jarvis, director of people and culture with the food bank, said the organization made the commitment to pay staff the living wage to set an example and encourage other Peel employers to follow suit.

“As an organization, the work we live and breathe is supporting those in our community who are struggling with food insecurity and living in poverty. We are advocating for every single person in our community to have a living wage, and that starts with us.”

All full-time staff at the food bank are now making at least $19.80 an hour, and all other part-time workers will have their wages brought up to the same level within a year.

Jarvis said bringing wages up to the living wage can reduce the mental and physical stress on employees, which in turn benefits an employer in the form of less sick days and higher productivity.

“If you show that you value them, they will value you,” Jarvis said.

Increasing pay hasn’t impacted the charity’s operations, and Jarvis said the food bank will be kicking off its annual holiday food drive on Nov. 15 with a goal of raising $1.5 million and 300,000 lbs of food to meet increased demand.

OLWN used a weighted average between a family of four, a single parent with one child, and a single adult to reflect the cost of living across demographics and across the province.

OLWN didn’t release an updated list last year due to consistency issues caused by the pandemic.

Living Wage rates across Ontario:

  • Toronto $22.08
  • Halton Region $20.75
  • Peel Region $19.80
  • Simcoe County $19.05
  • Niagara Region $18.90
  • Norththumberland County $18.80
  • Ottawa $18.60
  • Muskoka $18.55
  • Peterborough $18.35
  • Leeds, Grenville, Lanark Counties $18.25
  • Guelph Wellington $18.10
  • Hastings-Prince Edward $17.95
  • Perth and Huron Counties $17.95
  • Durham Region $17.80
  • Kingston $17.75
  • Renfrew County $17.40
  • Haldimand-Norfolk $17.35
  • Waterloo Region $17.20
  • Hamilton $17.20
  • Sudbury $16.98
  • London $16.55
  • Thunder Bay $16.30
  • Sault Ste. Marie $16.20
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