As a single parent who immigrated to Canada, Michelle Walrond said she “learned to squeeze a dollar” over the years.

As a low-wage earner, it’s difficult to make ends meet, said Walrond, a leader with Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

“Minimum-wage workers are working full time, and they’re only bringing home $840 a month,” she said at the launch of ACORN’s Living Wage Campaign Thursday.

“Ottawa is the fifth most expensive city to live in Canada,” Walrond said. “We want Ottawa to be one of the leaders in establishing a living wage policy.”

“If you work full time, you should be able to make a living wage,” said Rob Rainer, executive director of Canada Without Poverty.

About half a dozen local politicians also showed their support yesterday.

“We have 120,000 people living below the poverty line in the city of Ottawa,” said Coun. Alex Cullen.

While some may say the recession is a poor time to be increasing wages, Ottawa Centre MP Paul Dewar said this is the “exact time to consider this issue.

“If you want to get money into the economy quickly, put it into the hands of people who will spend it,” he said.

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