The prospect of a living wage for municipal employees was the most controversial element of the city’s Ottawa Poverty Reduction Strategy.
Fourteen of the strategy’s 16 recommendations were approved unanimously by city council.
The remaining two recommendations, living wage and reinvesting savings from provincial uploads back into social infrastructure and poverty reduction, passed by a vote of 14–7.
Although the recommendations would not immediately commit any funds, Gloucester-South Nepean Coun. Steve Desroches said the living wage would be too costly for the City of Ottawa under the current tax system.
But Bay Ward Coun. Alex Cullen argued there is no harm in at least looking into a living wage policy, which would pay low-earning city employees $13.25 an hour instead of minimum wage, which is $9.50.