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Vancouver should reinstate living wage policy for employees, councillor says


A Vancouver councillor is hoping the city will reinstate its living wage policy for employees after it was scrapped last year.

Coun. Christine Boyle is bringing forward a motion to council through a standing committee on policy and strategic priorities meeting Wednesday, calling for the city to bring back its living wage policy by 2025. Boyle's motion points to rising costs like food and rent as some reasons for why a living wage policy should be in place.

"I think the living wage is an incredibly important city policy, both in terms of the message it sends about who belongs in Vancouver and I feel really strongly that working people belong here, that they should be able to call Vancouver home," Boyle told CTV News Vancouver.

On Monday, a town hall was held with city workers about the potential policy change. Boyle said they heard from many employees about how much the policy is needed, adding she's hopeful that feedback will make council realize it was the wrong decision to scrap the policy in the first place.

"If you work for the City of Vancouver, you should be able to afford to live in Metro Vancouver without needing a second job or needing to rely on a food bank," Boyle said.

Vancouver council first voted in July 2015 to become a living wage employer and a staff plan to implement the policy was approved the following summer. But in January 2023, Boyle's motion says, council voted in a closed-door meeting to end the city's certification as a living wage employer.

The living wage for Metro Vancouver is currently $25.68, up from $20.64 when the policy was first approved by council in 2016. The City of Vancouver says the vast majority of its employees are already at or above the living wage. Top Stories

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