The city of Port Coquitlam has voted unanimously to adopt a living wage policy.
The vote came this afternoon at a finance committee meeting, and means city staff, contractors, and subcontractors will have to be paid at least $20.68 per hour, deemed the minimum to get by in Metro Vancouver.
PoCo Councillor Brad West says for some residents, even that might be tight.
“In fact there’s a number of areas where the costs of Port Coquitlam are higher. An example of that would be transportation where, because of how poorly served we are unfortunately by transit, our transportation costs for our residents are actually much higher than for other people in the region.”
West says the city took a hard look at neighbour New Westminster’s model to develop a system that would ensure the wage is actually being paid.
He says the city is now working with contractors on implementation.
West says he’s also challenging other municipalities in the region to follow suit.
“Work should be lifting people out of poverty, it shouldn’t be keeping people in poverty. So I’m asking other municipalities to join us. The more municipalities that get on board, the bigger impact we can have.”
He says the city hopes to have program up and running by year’s end.
Last summer, the city of Vancouver passed a motion to move the city to a living wage, with city staff now investigating how to implement the policy.
In New Westminster, paying contracted and sub-contracted city workers a Living Wage has been in place since July of 2011.
However, it emerged last summer that some contractors and sub contractors were being paid significantly less