The pandemic has forced millions of Canadians into deeper food insecurity, and we’ve yet to see meaningful progress on the policies that could offer relief — namely, affordable housing, decent work, higher social assistance rates, and community-based food infrastructure.
CERB set the standard that $2,000 is the minimum someone needs each month to survive but many people are making less than that. For those on social assistance or not making a living wage, living in Toronto is even more difficult.
A single adult on Ontario Works will only receive $733 this month ($8,796 annually) to cover all their expenses. A single recipient of ODSP will get $1,169 to cover all their needs this month, regardless of the additional medical or housing requirements that come with living with a mental or physical disability. That is $14,028 a year. People making minimum wage right now, working 40 hours per week, will need to cover all their costs with $1,944 this month, which is gross $27,800/year.
The living wage in Toronto is $22.08 per hour, which is $2,867/month or just over $42,900/year. A living wage is the hourly wage a worker needs to earn to cover their basic expenses and participate in their community; it is calculated based on the real costs in our city. Communities not making a living wage are most at risk of being impacted by the enormous economic and health threats COVID-19 poses.
We see an opportunity to meaningfully engage Torontonians in this conversation in an interactive, accessible way. Our updated calculator reveals just how difficult it is to live in this city on a low-income. Do the quiz and then sign our petition to call for everyone in Toronto make a living wage!
With the upcoming federal election, it is a critical time for us to take action.
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