Living wage $16.98/hour in Kelowna area

Doris Janssen, CHBC News/Global BC

The Central Okanagan is the fifth most expensive place to live in British Columbia, behind Kamloops, Victoria and Vancouver.

The Central Okanagan Regional District has come up with a Living Wage to assist community groups in understanding what it takes to lift a child out of poverty.

The Living Wage in the Kelowna area is $16.98/hour, which is what two parents with children 7 and 4, working 35 hour work weeks would have to earn to meet their basic needs.

The calculation includes expenses such as food, rent, transportation, child care and education. It takes into consideration government taxes, credits, deductions and subsidies.

The living wage does not include other real life expenses such as home ownership, repaying debts, entertainment (cable, television, internet), or cigarettes.

“Each parent would need to hear $16.98 an hour to pay for necessities and support he healthy development of their children,” says Christene Walsh, Social Development Coordinator for the Regional District of the Central Okanagan. “We hope that employers might consider this and perhaps other supplementary things they could do outside of actual wagers to support the quality of life of their workers and their families.”

BC Communities Living Wage Rates

  • Vancouver – $18.81
  • Victoria – $18.03
  • Esquimalt – $17.31
  • Kamloops – $17.27
  • Regional District of Central Okanagan – $16.98
  • New Westminster – $16.74
  • Abbotsford – $16.42
  • Williams Lake – $15.77
  • Cranbrook – $14.16