Yukon group wants territory to adopt a living wage
Wage would incorporate cost of living in territory with minimum wage
The Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition is calling for a living wage to be established in the territory.
The group sent a letter to the Employment Standards Board asking for the wage. The coalition said such a wage would help the working poor and those on social assistance to make ends meet.
Bill Thomas, the co-chair of the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition, said a living wage relates to what he calls the "true cost of living in an area".
Thomas said Yukoners who live on the current minimum wage of just over $10 an hour find it difficult to pay for all their living costs, especially when housing is so expensive.
"A living wage is a wage that can answer the question: rent, and food, and utilities," said Thomas.
Thomas said once the cost of living has been factored in, a more realistic wage would be more than $20 an hour.
However, the question remains of who would pay for that increase.
"If they're working, then we're talking about employee wages. If they're not working, then we're talking about state assistance of some kind," he added.
Thomas said that while it is likely there will be resistance to the idea, the coalition is still planning to shop it around, starting with, they hope, the next meeting of the Whitehorse chamber of commerce.