Town of Canmore

Living Wage

The Living Wage is calculated by the Alberta Living Wage Network, and it is an indicator that represents the hourly rate of pay a household needs to earn to maintain a modest standard of living within their community. 

The Living Wage is rooted in the belief that individuals and families should not just survive, but that they should be able to live in financial dignity and participate in community. The Living Wage calculation provides municipalities with a way to evaluate the impact that community programs and initiatives have on affordability as well as giving local businesses a tool through which they can increase the standard of living for employees through employer benefit programs.

Wage is only part of the picture when it comes to affordability. Maintaining a livable community where all individuals can thrive is the shared responsibility of community, businesses, and all levels of government. The Living Wage is not a tool designed to direct employee compensation but rather, is intended to shed light on how all systems, including employee benefit plans, government tax and benefit initiatives, and community programs can work together to create an affordable community.  

Canmore’s 2022 Living Wage is $32.75.

The 2022 Living Wage is a weighted average of three household scenarios: (1) a two parent and two child household, (2) a lone parent, and (3) a single individual.

The Living Wage reflects the income a household needs to earn to cover local expenses, once benefits and taxes are accounted for. The Living Wage does not incorporate employee benefit programs, which significantly and positively impacts an employee’s wage. Local businesses are encouraged to work with the Alberta Living Wage Network to understand how employee benefits programs function to increase the impact of an employee’s wages.   

Previous calculations were based on only one household scenario: a two parent, two child household.

Explore below to learn more about the Living Wage in Canmore


What is Canmore’s Living Wage? 

Canmore’s 2022 Living Wage is $32.75 and is based on a weighted average of three household scenarios:

  • Family of four (two income/two child): $36.15
  • Lone parent (one income/one child): $47.15
  • Single individual (one income): $29.00

Previous calculations followed the Canadian Living Wage Framework, which was only based on a family of four (two parent, two child household). 

Remuneration should never be based on family composition or lifestyle. The Living Wage is an indicator for community affordability and livability.  It represents the average income that residents need to grow, thrive, and actively participate in the community.

Making Canmore More Affordable

Community affordability is the responsibility of community, business, and all levels of government. 

The Town of Canmore is committed to finding ways to make the community more affordable by supporting community programs, such as Food and Friends, Vital Homes, and supporting free local Roam Transit

Click here for more information on how to access local programs/initiatives that increase community affordability.
How is the Living Wage calculated? 
The Alberta Living Wage network created the methodology for the living wage calculation, which aligns with both the Province of British Columbia’s and the Province of Ontario’s Living Wage Networks.

Previous calculations reflected the Canadian Living Wage Framework, which was based only on a family of four. The Alberta Living Wage Network amended the calculation to reflect multiple households and incorporate the different benefit and tax scenarios that are based on household size.  

What is the Impact to Businesses?

Businesses have faced unprecedented challenges over the past several years. The intention of releasing new living wages for 2022 is not to add further stress to these businesses, but rather, to shed some light on what it actually costs to live in Alberta.

Wage is only part of the picture when understanding affordability. Maintaining a livable community where all individuals can thrive is the responsibility of community, businesses, and all levels of government. The Living Wage is not a tool designed to direct employee compensation but rather, is intended to shed light on how all systems, including employee benefit plans, government tax and benefit initiatives, and community programs can work together to create an affordable community.

Canmore is a municipal member of the Alberta Living Wage Network, and as a member, all Canmore business can work with network staff to quantify the impact that their employee benefit programs, such as employee meals, staff accommodation, health benefits, professional development, childcare support, corporate wellness accounts, or corporate savings plan, have on their employee’s income.

Local businesses are invited to work with the Alberta Living Wage Network to understand how employee benefits programs increase the impact of an employee’s wages. Connect with the Network to learn how to become a living wage employer  

Why is the Living Wage Important?

The Living Wage represents the hourly wage that makes up the income an individual needs to earn in their career to grow, thrive, and actively participate in their community. It provides insight on community affordability and livability.  The Living Wage also provides municipalities with a way to evaluate the impact of community programs, such as Vital Homes or the Good Food Box, on living expenses. 

The Living Wage may also help employers quantify the impact that employee benefit programs, such as employee meals, staff accommodation, health benefits, professional development, childcare support, corporate wellness accounts, or corporate savings plan, have on the calculation of the wage  

How does Canmore’s Living Wage compare to other municipalities? 
The Town of Canmore is a member of the Alberta Living Wage Network, which is a collection of municipalities that are working together to calculate Living Wages across Alberta and to understand the unique supports that municipalities across the province need. To review the Living Wage of municipalities across Alberta, click here
Why is Canmore’s Living Wage so high? 
According the 2018 Alberta Spatial Price Survey, Basic Household expenses in Canmore are on average 43 percent more expensive than Alberta’s baseline municipality (Edmonton). Most notably, Canmore’s housing, is 141 percent more expensive than Alberta’s baseline, which directly impacts the Living Wage calculation. In addition, 2022 saw record inflation rates, which means the price of goods and services have increased more in 2022 than in previous years
Where can I find more information? 
To learn more about other Alberta Living Wage, click here

The Town of Canmore is founding member of the Alberta Living Wage Network. The web-based calculator that the Network uses to calculate the Living Wage for all Alberta communities was first created and piloted in Canmore.

The Town of Canmore is located within Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta. In the spirit of respect, reciprocity and truth, we honour and acknowledge the Canmore area, known as “Chuwapchipchiyan Kudi Bi” (translated in Stoney Nakoda as “shooting at the willows”) and the traditional Treaty 7 territory and oral practices of the Îyârhe Nakoda (Stoney Nakoda) – comprised of the Bearspaw First Nation, Chiniki First Nation, and Goodstoney First Nation – as well as the Tsuut’ina First Nation and the Blackfoot Confederacy comprised of the Siksika, Piikani, Kainai. We acknowledge that this territory is home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3, within the historical Northwest Métis homeland. We acknowledge all Nations who live, work, and play and help us steward this land and honour and celebrate this territory. We commit to working to live in right relations and to advance Truth and Reconciliation.

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