According to Working for a Living Wage 2018, published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ BC office, First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition and the Living Wage for Families Campaign, $20.91 hourly wage is needed to cover the costs of raising a family in Metro Vancouver, up from $20.61 per hour in 2017. This is the hourly wage that two working parents with two young children must earn to meet their basic expenses (including rent, child care, food and transportation), once government taxes, credits, deductions and subsidies have been taken into account.
Living wage rates are also increasing across BC, as reports for other regions were also released on April 25th: Capital Regional District ($20.50), Revelstoke ($19.37), District 69 [Parksville-Qualicum] ($17.02), Kamloops ($17.31), Powell River ($17.15), North Central BC [Prince George and Quesnel] ($16.51), Comox Valley ($16.59) and the Fraser Valley ($17.40).
Child care and housing continue to be the two biggest costs in the living wage calculation, with significant rent increases driving up family expenses across the province.
Family costs would have been even higher if it wasn’t for two substantial policy interventions by the provincial government: a 50% reduction to MSP premiums and the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative, implemented April 1, which will result in savings of $900 this year for parents with children between three and five years if their child care provider opts into the program.