Ottawa could be the first Canadian city to champion a living wage floor for city employees.
A local organization that is spearheading a living wage increase, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, will host an information luncheon at city hall this Thursday, with the support of councillors Alex Cullen and Peggy Feltmate and NDP MP Paul Dewar.
“We hope to make people aware that public dollars should not be subsidizing poverty wages,” said ACORN board member Kat Fortin.
Fortin suffers from cerebral palsy, and said she is an example of someone who would greatly benefit from the proposed wage increase to $13.25 an hour.
“A living wage is a level of pay that allows someone working full time to earn enough to make a living while also being able to save for the future,” said Fortin.
The proposed increase would mainly affect direct workers under contract at the City of Ottawa, city service contractors like janitors and landscapers, and employees of firms who receive economic assistance funds from the city.