-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.

When I was doing it on my own, no,  $11.60 was not a livable wage. My husband was out of the picture for 16 months, and to survive my son and I had to be subsidized by Ontario Works. We also had to use the food bank a couple times because my truck broke down and I had expensive truck repairs. My rent is $1040.00 a month plus hydro. I also have car/tenant insurance, life insurance, groceries, gas, and a teenager.

Once my husband came home and we had 2 incomes again, yes, I could make it work. That extra money every week will mean I may actually have a savings account. I honestly don't know how single parents do it, especially with things like daycare to pay. My boss isn't planning to cut hours, our prices went up 2 months ago, and it really hasn't impacted us too much. In a tourist town, business does slow down in winter, so a few less hours is to be expected and that would have happened regardless of the minimum wage hike.

The minimum wage rising might also mean more people won't need to depend on Ontario works to subsidize them to survive. I think many would be surprised at how many people need to be subsidized to make ends meet.

Part 1 of the series




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