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Alberta's living wage highest for workers in Canmore, report suggests

Money is removed from a bank machine in Montreal, Monday, May 30, 2016.(Ryan Remiorz / THE CANADIAN PRESS) 
Money is removed from a bank machine in Montreal, Monday, May 30, 2016.(Ryan Remiorz / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Canmore workers need to earn much more than other employees in Alberta to make ends meet, says a new wage report released this week.

The Alberta Living Wage Network (ALWN) says people living in the mountain community would need to earn approximately $32.75 per hour to "cover their basic expenses and participate in the community."

Organizations that are part of the network say the figure is an important statistic to note when one considers the impact of the affordability crisis.

"It's clear that more needs to be done to help people make ends meet," said Meaghon Reid, executive director of Vibrant Communities Calgary.

"Alberta is the only province that didn't review and raise its minimum wage in 2022 and one of the only provinces that doesn't tie its minimum wage to the cost of living. It's time for the government to step up and give Albertans the help they need," she said.

This year's living wage is based on the hourly rate needed for a household to "maintain a modest standard of living" following government subsidies and tax reductions.

"It assumes that each adult is working full-time hours and includes more than the basics of food, clothing and shelter – it also takes into account unexpected costs, small investments in education, child care, and participating in the community," the ALWN said.

While some may consider the data to be an added stress to local businesses when they are considering payrolls, the ALWN says that not why it is being released.

"(It is to) rather to shed light on the reality of the cost of living in cities and towns across Alberta," it said.

Canmore's manager of community social development, Lisa Brown, called ALWN's work an important resource for them to understand what expenses impact the cost of living the most.

"The Living Wage provides context to the affordability concerns that are the lived reality of so many people in Alberta," she said. "The Town of Canmore is a founding member of the Living Wage Network and continues to support the network by working to understand Alberta's diverse economic landscape."

The ALWN is made up of community organizations and municipalities that have collective goal of advancing a coordinated living wage movement.

This is the second year that the network has provided data on living wages in Alberta communities.

2022's living wage data (ranked highest to lowest)

  • Canmore: $32.75;
  • Fort McMurray: $22.50;
  • Calgary: $22.40;
  • St. Albert: $22.40;
  • Cochrane: $22.35;
  • Rocky Mountain House: $21.85;
  • Edmonton: $21.40;
  • Drumheller: $21.20;
  • Spruce Grove: $20.70;
  • Stony Plain: $20.40;
  • Lethbridge: $20.30;
  • Drayton Valley: $19.65;
  • Grande Prairie: $19.65;
  • Red Deer: $19.65; and
  • Medicine Hat: $17.50. Top Stories

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