Sarnia still hoping to be test site for Basic Income pilot

Sarnia Observer

A group dedicated to countering poverty is planning to investigate what constitutes a living wage in Sarnia-Lambton.

“I would say it’s a minimum of $15 to start with,” said Karen Mathewson, chairperson of the Sarnia-Lambton Poverty Reduction Network.

A network sub-committee is planning in 2017 to look into calculating the wage – designed to cover food, clothing, shelter and transportation, while still allowing decent quality of life, she said.

“There’s a lot of things that you have to take a look at in your community – how much a basket of food costs; how much is car insurance; how much daycare costs.”

Chatham-Kent’s Prosperity Roundtable recently announced that community’s living wage at $15.86 per hour, based on a family of four with two parents working full-time.

Businesses in communities where such wages have been established are being encouraged to pay their employees at the standard, with the Ontario Living Wage Network calling the move a benefit for everyone in the community.

“It's helping to drive economic growth and create more jobs,” network co-ordinator Tom Cooper said in Chatham-Kent last month.

The minimum wage in Ontario is $11.40 per hour.

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