-by Anne Finlay-Stewart, Editor

OwenSoundHub is sharing a series of stories from local people who make minimum wage. Several have asked us not to include their names and we have agreed.  Not only could there be repercussions from landlords or employers, but recent conversations on social media have confirmed that the stigma and judgement of poverty remains firmly in place.

"$11.60 was not liveable.

As a single mother working for that we (that's only two of us - I can not imagine a mother of more children  single and working part time or even full at minimum wage) barely got by. And that is taking into consideration child tax credit, Trillium and GST credits.
Very much a struggle.
I lived in a very-not-nice 2 bedroom apartment with rent being $750 plus hydro costing me WELL over $200 per month no matter what I did. Never, up until my recent job could I get full time hours. It was nearly impossible here in Owen Sound.
Now that I am at a job with full time hours available upon hiring me, ever since the wage increase they have been cutting shifts back like crazy. Sending people home early, etc. Now I can't say for sure that is because of the wage increase so they are trying to save money or if it is simply due to being over staffed. But it was never an issue before the wage increase so it sure makes me wonder.
If my math is correct and I make $19 extra dollars per shift, working 5 to 7 days per week that is an extra income of $95-$133 dollars per week for my son and myself. That would pay for our week's worth of groceries or nearly cover my car insurance payment. If the cost of living went down maybe we would not need minimum wage set at what it is now.
Maybe living would be a little more doable...a little more comfortable. If there were more opportunities in this town for the younger generations maybe things would be a little different. But from what I have experienced we really don't have much choice. If I want to live even remotely comfortable I need this $14 an hour if not more...and that's not greedy that's just fair. Thats just what could make or break someone from being successful and building their future or being stuck at a standstill working at some grocery store or fast food place for their whole life because they can't afford to move forward.
With this increase I hope to be able to now finally save a little money so that I can better myself and help my son succeed in his future as well."





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