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For 2019, the average home is valued at $389,413.
The impact on homes valued at $250,000, $500,000 & $750,000, is as follows:
The period for public input begins on February 27, 2019 and runs until March 12, 2019.
The public is encouraged to submit their comments as follows:
In writing to 216 Mackenzie Avenue
By mail to Box 170, Revelstoke, BC, V0E 2S0
Via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
In person at the Public Consultation meeting to be held on March 7, 2019 at 3pm in Council Chambers at Suite 102 – 103 Second Street East.
Each year the City identifies priorities, goals and initiatives that ensure good use of resources and link back to our Strategic Plan. Public input is key to the entire process and residents are encouraged to get involved. Here’s the how the process works:
Council Members provide direction and feedback on strategic priorities to guide the budget process
Finance department reviews business plans and budget requirements as submitted by the different departments, and makes recommendations to Council
Review includes revisions and reprioritization of needs, taking into consideration strategic priorities, associated costs and public input
Council reviews recommendations and approves budget
The operating budget covers ongoing operating expenses of the City and the capital budget covers long-term investment in infrastructure.
The operating budget includes all anticipated expenditures and revenues related to the ongoing operations of the City. Expenditures include salaries, goods, services, and transfers to reserves. Revenues include property tax and user fees. The shortfall between expenditures and non-tax revenues results in the portion that must be raised by property taxes.
The capital budget includes money spent on building, buying or improving capital infrastructure such as roads, buildings, vehicles and major equipment.
Most of the City’s funding comes from property taxes. Other sources of funding include:
Development charges (capital budget only)
Grants and subsidies from other levels of government (restrictions apply)
Contributions from reserves
The following chart shows how Revelstoke’s property taxes compare to similar municipalities in 2017. (The tax rates for other municipalities have not been set for 2019 and the Provincial database showing the 2018 tax rates is not available)
For 2019, the operating budget is $22,057,315.
The operating budget is funded with the following sources:
Cost sharing with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District
License and permit fees
The largest funding source is property taxes. The next largest is grants.
The 2019 operating budget includes the addition of two new positions. One will improve the City’s ability to communicate with the community. The other will allow the City to provide improved customer service to the development community.
The Bank of Canada Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a common measure for inflation in the economy. The calculation uses the "basket of goods" theory where a broad range of goods that are typically used in an average household are used in the calculations. There are eight categories that are populated with a number of items within these areas:
Furniture & household equipment
Recreation & education
Alcoholic beverages & tobacco products.
As we can see, many of the items in each CPI category are not used by the City in the delivery of its products and services. Most items common to households and municipalities are the items that are increasing in price - utilities or fuels, for example. Unfortunately, many of the items that are remaining flat or decreasing are not purchases made in civic operations. Also, in the CPI "basket of goods", there is a lack of construction-related items such as concrete, steel, black-top and any of the related services to deliver these items.
The following represents the need for a tax increase:
Impact of previous Council decisions
Cost of growth
Addressing mandatory safety requirements
Catch up on deferred maintenance of capital assets
In order to minimize the impact of these pressures, Mayor, Council and Staff are continually looking for ways to maintain or improve both the levels and efficiency of the services the City provides. Measures include:
Planned capital maintenance
Grant application submissions and
The City also reviews revenues and user fees to help offset the inflationary pressures, however, not all revenues are subject to inflationary increases or are automatically increased by municipal inflation due to a number of reasons including affordability, and competitive positions.
There are many pressures, which will affect the City in future years, including growth, maintaining our existing assets and inflationary components. Inflationary costs for labour, insurance, utilities and fuel affect the City significantly and place additional pressure on the budget. Every time we add a new park, new road or facility, it has an impact on the Operating budget.
While tax increases are expected for the future, Mayor and Council are committed to keeping tax rates at a reasonable level while maintaining the balance between current budget demands, growth and addressing future capital issues.
Although new growth does bring in additional assessment, it requires additional resources to be provided by the City for such items as garbage pickup, snow plowing and maintenance of additional roads, community services for new residents and the payment of capital infrastructure for new development
Individuals are required by law to provide ID when requested.
Bylaw Officers have the same authority to request ID as a Police Officer, failure to provide ID as requested may result in a fine for obstruction of a Bylaw Officer in the amount of $1000.00, the attendance of the RCMP, your possible arrest and/or criminal charges.
If you are committing an offense under the Animal Control Bylaw, Bylaw Officers have the authority to seize and or impound your animal.
You may also be subject to fines associated with that offense as set out in Municipal Ticket Information Bylaw No. 2082.
Bylaw Officers have the authority to enter onto your property to inspect and determine whether all regulations, prohibitions and requirements are being met in relation to any matter for which the Bylaw Officer or authorized person has been authorized under this or another Act to regulate, prohibit or impose requirements (as per division 3, section 16 of the Community Charter).
In May 2018, the City enacted an interim prohibition (Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 2224) of cannabis dispensaries (retail sales of medical and/or recreational cannabis), cannabis manufacturing facilities, and the commercial scale growing of cannabis as a horticultural use in all zones until a complete regulatory program, with community consultation, is developed and approved by Council. The work has begun and a community survey will be open to residents from August 27th until September 10th. The survey will be available on the City’s website and also in hard copy at the front counter of the Development Services Department at 216 MacKenzie Avenue.It is the City’s goal to have regulations in place prior to cannabis legalization on October 17, 2018.
The City’s planning process to develop regulations for cannabis involves several steps. Key milestones in the planning process are identified below. Please note due to the dynamic nature of community planning projects, the schedule is subject to change. For up to date information on upcoming Council meetings, please visit the City's Council Meeting Information page.
Residents will have an opportunity to complete a community survey with questions related to their thoughts on cannabis regulation in the City of Revelstoke. The survey will be posted on the City’s website (on the homepage) and will also be available in hard copy from the Development Services Department at 216 Mackenzie Avenue. The survey will be open from 9 a.m. August 27th until September 10th at 4 pm.
The federal government is responsible for establishing and maintaining a comprehensive and consistent national framework for regulating cannabis production, setting standards for health and safety, and establishing criminal prohibitions. More specifically, the federal government is responsible for the following:
• Establishing restrictions on adult access to cannabis, including purchasing through an appropriate framework, sourcing from a well-regulated industry, or growing safely in limited amounts at home;
• Establishing serious criminal penalties for those operating outside the legal system, especially those who provide cannabis to youth;
• Creating rules to limit how cannabis or cannabis accessories can be promoted, packaged, labelled and displayed, to protect youth;
• Instituting a federal licensing regime for cannabis production that will set and enforce health and safety requirements and protect against the involvement of organized crime in the legal industry;
• Establishing industry-wide rules on the types of products that will be allowed for sale, standardized serving sizes and potency, the use of certain ingredients and good production practices, as well as the tracking of cannabis from seed to sale to prevent diversion to the illicit market;
• Creating minimum federal conditions that provincial and territorial legislation for distribution and retail sale would be required to meet, to ensure a reasonably consistent national framework to promote safety (e.g., adequate measures would need to be in place to prevent diversion, cannabis could not be sold to youth, and only legally produced cannabis could be sold);
• Establishing the ability for the federal government to license distribution and sale in any province or territory that does not enact such legislation;
• Enforcing the law at the border, while maintaining the free flow of legitimate travel and trade; and
• Establishing and maintaining the national framework for cannabis for medical purposes.
Provinces and territories control the distribution and retail sales of non-medical cannabis within their jurisdictions. The BC Provincial Government has appointed the Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) to be the exclusive wholesale distributor of non-medical cannabis, while retail sales will be offered to the public through a combination of government and private owned stores, as well as online through the government site.
In addition to their authority to establish age, possession, and personal cultivation regulations are more stringent than those contained in the federal legislation, provinces and territories are responsible for many matters of implementation, such as how and by whom cannabis may be sold and where it may be consumed within their jurisdiction.
The Province of British Columbia has announced that the minimum age to possess, purchase and consume cannabis in BC will be 19. More information on Provincial Cannabis Sales can be found here.
Municipalities can set additional regulatory requirements to address issues of local concern. For example:
If City Council approves specific zoning for non-medical, cannabis-related businesses, applicants for a retail store licence must submit a licence application to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB). When an application is received, the LCRB will notify the local government of the area where the proposed store will be located. Upon receipt of notice, local governments can:
If the local government chooses to make a comment and recommendation on the licensee’s application to the LCRB, it must gather the views of residents (this can be through public hearing, public notification period or another means). If it makes a recommendation to deny the application, then the LCRB may not issue the licence.
The City’s Development Services Department has received a substantial number of enquiries from companies and individuals wishing to operate cannabis retail stores in the City, and we expect that demand for business licences will be high. To balance competing community interests, the City wants to ensure that its regulations fairly address the concerns of residents and needs of retail operators.
Due to the speed at which this new industry is being developed and implemented, we want to ensure it is introduced in a manner that best meets the needs of Revelstoke residents. This includes determining where retail stores would best be located and whether any business licence restrictions or requirements should be imposed to fairly balance community interests.
The City will need to have regulations in place before cannabis retailers are authorized to operate.
If City Council approves specific zoning for non-medical, cannabis-related businesses, applicants for a retail store licence must submit a licence application to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB). When an application is received, the LCRB will notify the local government of the area where the proposed store will be located.
If the local government chooses to make a comments and recommendation on the licensee’s application to the LCRB, it must gather the views of residents (this can be through public hearing, public notification period or another means). If it makes a recommendation to deny the application, then the LCRB may not issue the licence. If it makes a recommendation in favour of the application, then the LCRB has discretion whether to issue the licence but must consider the local government’s recommendation. More information on the local government’s role in licensing non-medical cannabis retails stores can be found within the Local Governments’ Role in Licensing Non-Medical Cannabis Retails Stores guide.
Municipalities can set regulatory requirements to address issues of local concern.
Currently, the Federal Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations allows the cultivation of cannabis within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). Local governments cannot restrict cannabis production within the ALR so long as it is grown in an open field, in a structure that is soil-based or in an existing licensed operation. Local governments can, however, prohibit the development of industrial-style, cement-based and bunker-style cannabis production on ALR land.Under the Cannabis Act, municipalities can determine where cannabis production can take place.
B.C. will align with the proposed federal legislation and allow adults to grow up to four cannabis plants per household, but the plants must not be visible from public spaces off the property. Home cultivation of non-medical cannabis will be banned in dwellings used as daycares. In addition, landlords and strata councils will be able to restrict or prohibit home cultivation.
However, municipalities may choose to set further restrictions on personal cultivation beyond what is outlined in the proposed Cannabis Act.
Strata corporations and councils:
With the help of their own legal counsel, strata corporations can enact their own bylaws prohibiting or restricting recreational cannabis cultivation or smoking in strata lots or on common property. Strata corporations also have the power to impose fines and other penalties on strata lot owners, who do not comply with strata bylaws.
Landlords in BC can prohibit home cultivation. Landlords can also allow home cultivation or allow it under certain restrictions (e.g. by allowing only outdoor cultivation of one plant). An amendment to the Residential Tenancy Act automatically prohibits home recreational cannabis cultivation in tenancies entered into before the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act came into force. Landlords should contact the Residential Tenancy Branch (link is external) for more information on their rights related to home cannabis cultivation.
Owners of strata property are required to comply with any strata bylaws related to home cultivation, and property owners who rent homes are subject to the rights and rules of the Residential Tenancy Act noted above. Property owners can prohibit home cultivation on their property. Homeowners wishing to grow cannabis on their property should consult provincial and federal legislation and any applicable strata bylaws.
Under the current system, individuals that require cannabis for medical purposes must be authorized by a health care provider. Sales are through federally-licensed producers only at this time. This process is not changing when the Cannabis Act takes effect on October 17, 2018.
There will be no medical retail licences issued at this time. Medical cannabis will continue to be sold directly by federally licensed producers only (with secure delivery by mail or courier) and any application to produce and sell medical cannabis must be made under the federal medical cannabis system. The federal government has committed to conducting a review of the medical cannabis system in five years.
Under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations, individuals can also apply for a license to grow a specified number of plants for medical purposes or designate someone to grow on their behalf.
No. Under current federal legislation, cannabis retail stores and compassion clubs are illegal and subject to enforcement.
Currently, cannabis for medical purposes can only be purchased if authorized by a health care practitioner. It may only be purchased from a licensed producer and sales are strictly on-line.
No. Consumption lounges have not been approved by the Provincial Government at this time. It is anticipated that this will be reviewed in 2019.
Edible cannabis products will not be legal or legally sold in 2018. The federal government has announced that they will become legal in the summer of 2019.
The Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch, formerly the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch, will be responsible for licensing non-medical cannabis private stores and monitoring the non-medical cannabis retail sector in B.C. It will enforce rules governing retails stores similar to those currently in place for liquor. Privately owned stores will not be authorized to sell cannabis online. Cannabis sales will only be permitted in licensed retail stores.
The Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch will consult with municipalities on each application submitted for a retail sales licence. The municipality will be required to consult with the community on each application. Applications will only be approved by the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch if written support from the municipality is provided.
All non-medical cannabis products will be distributed through the BC Liquor Distribution Branch. As with alcohol sales, retail businesses will not be permitted to grow their own product or source it from a third-party.
Having LDB-run wholesale distribution and retail will help support the government’s key priorities of protecting children and youth, prioritizing health and safety, and keeping the criminal element out of cannabis.
Once cannabis is legalized:
Public consumption of cannabis in Revelstoke will be limited by:
There are well-documented risks from cannabis use to both immediate and long-term health. The main health risks include:
• Cognitive, psychomotor, and memory impairments;
• Hallucinations and impaired perception;
• Impaired child and youth brain development;
• Mental health problems (including psychosis);
• Pulmonary/bronchial problems (e.g., bronchitis, lung infections, chronic
• cough, increased mucus buildup in the throat, and potentially lung cancer);
• Dependence; and
• Reproductive problems.
Fischer, B., Russell, C., Sabioni, P., van den Brink, W., Le Foll, B., Hall, W., Rehm, J. & Room, R. (2017). “Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines (LRCUG): An evidence-based update.” American Journal of Public Health, 107(8). DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2017.303818.
While it is premature to know exactly what legalization will mean economically for municipalities across Canada, it is apparent that cannabis sales bring millions of dollars into the coffers of states and municipalities in which recreational use of the substance is legalized.
In 2014, the first year of legalized sales, Colorado retailers sold $213,414,440 worth of recreational marijuana, before all taxes. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, approximately 15.09% of Colorado residents, or 808,220 people, smoke some amount of pot, resulting in average annual retail marijuana spending of $264 per user. Extrapolated to Ontario, which, according to Statistics Canada is home to 1,331,299 marijuana smokers (12.1% of the population), the first year of legalization could generate $351,462,936 in marijuana sales provincewide.
Currently cannabis use and sales are prohibited within the City of Revelstoke. The City is working on a regulatory framework and plans to have this in place prior to legalization on October 17th, 2018. The framework will identify zoning and business licensing requirements for opening a cannabis business in Revelstoke.
The Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch is now accepting applications for the private non-medical cannabis retail store licence. Applicants must apply through the cannabis licensing application portal. The City will not review applications for non-medical cannabis retail stores prior to the full implementation of federal and provincial regulations. At that time, private operators will be expected to go through the City's official permitting process.
Individuals will be able to purchase cannabis from licensed retailers only. Cannabis will be sold in both public and private-owned retail stores, and online through the BC LDB’s retail site. In February 2018 the BC Retail Sales framework was released. The legal consumption age in B.C. is 19. Individuals will be able to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis at a time.
There are several sources of government information on cannabis for medical and non-medical purposes. Here are a few:
Understanding the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations:
Cannabis Act Introduction:
B.C. Cannabis Retail Store Licensing Process:
Health Canada Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Facts:
Cannabis Distribution System in B.C.
City Hall - AVAILABLE by phone
Public Works - AVAILABLE by phone | 250-837-2001
Visit the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce website.
Visit the BC Transit website.
Visit the BC Centre for Disease Control website.
Visit the Government of British Columbia website.
Visit the Government of Canada website.
Visit the Interior Health website.
Visit the Revelstoke Life website.
Visit the Government of British Columbia website for Orders, Notices, Posters, Guidance and Letters.
Visit the Government of British Columbia website for a list developed by Emergency Management BC.
You can pay Property Taxes via online banking through TD, Scotiabank, RBC, CIBC, BMO, and Revelstoke Credit Union
Payments Methods: Property taxes and other payments can be made in-person, during the above noted drop-in hours. Payment is acceptable via debit (limits apply), cheque, credit (no credit for Property Taxes or Utilities) or cash but we ask that the online/distancing options are considered first and physical payments/cash last. Cheques can also be dropped off in the new secure drop box outside the Finance Department at City Hall (no cash, please) or mailed to: City Hall at PO. Box 170, Revelstoke, BC, V0E 2S0.
You can also sign up for the Property Tax installment plan.
See the Finance Section for more information
Typically, Property Taxes are due on July 2, or on the first business day after July 2 if it falls on a weekend or holiday.
For 2020 Property Taxes, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, property taxes are due Sept 2, 2020.
Visit the Finance Section for more details on Property Taxes.
New for 2020, you can claim your Home Owner Grant online or email: email@example.com with a photo of your completed grant application.
You can also complete the back of the form on the bottom of your tax notice and either bring it in or mail it to City Hall at:P.O. Box 170Revelstoke, BC V0E 2S0
All events hosted on City of Revelstoke property are required to provide a copy of their liability insurance for a minimum of $3 - $5 million with the City of Revelstoke added as additional insured. No event will take place without having provided their proof of insurance.
Be sure to consider all event requirements when selecting a location for your event. Will your event require power? Water? Access to washrooms? Garbage and recycling bins? Barricades and signage? If you are interested in booking a City venue, park or public space for a community event, please be advised that fees may be applied and deposits may be required. The City of Revelstoke venues include public buildings, parks, trails, parking lots, streets and roads.
Any type of sales of goods, whether it be coffee, raffle tickets, or jewelry admission or goods, sales of any type will require that your event obtain a temporary business license. We will work with you and send you in the right direction to help you decide which license is best for you.
Any disruptions to roads, sidewalks or parking spaces will require a Traffic Control Plan submitted with your event application. Advertising, neighbor notice and signatures, and a certified flag persons may be required at the expense of the event host.
British Columbia Interior Health services must provide approved Temporary Food Service permits to any event with food vendors or other food service. Follow the link Temporary Food Service Permit for additional information. A copy of your approved permit must be submitted prior to your event.
A liquor license is required for any event in which alcohol is being served or sold. Follow the link Liquor Special Event Permit for more information. You must also submit a CAPE application (Committee to approve public events) three months in advance of your event. A copy of your BC liquor license and CAPE application must be submitted to the City of Revelstoke’s Parks Recreation & Culture Department.
A B.C gaming license/permit is required for all raffle draws or gaming events. Find out more information by accessing Gambling Event License Classes and Types. A copy of your license must be submitted to the City of Revelstoke’s Parks Recreation & Culture Department prior to the event.
The 2019 living wage follows the same methodology as has been used for the past 11 years. However, new this year are two provincial government investments into child care that offset increases in all other family expenses: the Affordable Child Care Benefit, and the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative. Many more families are eligible for the Affordable Child Care Benefit, which was introduced in September of 2018, than qualified for the previous child care subsidy it replaced. The benefit is worth over $7,000 per year for the Revelstoke living wage family. The benefit is also paid to child care providers, in addition to parents, which further reduces out-of-pocket expenses for parents. The Fee Reduction Initiative was active for 8 months of the living wage calculation in 2018, whereas in 2019 it applies for the full year and saves families $1200 annually.
Even though costs are increasing steeply for rent and other basic necessities, the cost of living for families with children is lower in 2019 thanks to the provincial government’s new child care policies. Median rent costs for a three-plus bedroom unit in Revelstoke have increased by $159/mo from $1,641 to $1,800, a whopping 9.7%. Utilities, food, clothing and footwear, and owning and operating a vehicle are also now more expensive.
However, the Province’s new child care investments are saving BC families thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs of child care – enough to offset all other increases in the cost of living and lower the living wages this year. The new Affordable Child Care Benefit is reducing child care costs for up to 80,000 families across the province, according to government estimates. Meanwhile, the vast majority of licensed child care providers have opted in to the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative, introduced last year. In Revelstoke, the living wage family saves a further $5,292 on their child care expenses, compared to 2018.
This is a win for BC families with children. However, we know that costs continue to be high for all family types include those without children, single people, and seniors. For these and more family types, the cost of living did not go down this year, and therefore more needs to be done to ensure these groups can also enjoy an attainable cost of living in their communities.
The living wage is also impacted by the reduction of MSP premiums (which was cut by 50 per cent in January 2018 and will be completely eliminated in 2020).
No. Importantly, the Affordable Child Care Benefit is opt-in, meaning families have to apply to receive the benefit. Families who are eligible may not receive the amount they are entitled to if they do not know about this benefit. Families should visit https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/caring-for-young-children/child-care-funding/child-care-benefit for more information.
Additionally, the living wage calculation assumes the family is able to access child care. Many communities continue to face a shortage of licensed child care spaces. Wages for Early Childhood Educators also continue to be low, meaning attracting enough ECEs to offer high-quality child care is difficult.
Another important note is that our living wage calculates for a family with a four-year-old and a seven-year-old. Some families will face higher costs than those captured in our calculation, such as those who pay higher child care fees for infants or toddlers, those with teenagers who have higher food costs, and so on. This means families will vary in the extent to which the child care subsidies will offset their expenses.
The Living Wage for Families Campaign calculates the cost of living for a family with two young children because we are focused on child and family poverty. Using the calculation for a family of four also provides a good representation of the possible costs that the majority of types of family units, from families with many children to lone parent families to single person households, might incur throughout their lives. The most common family type across BC is two parents with two children.
While the living wage calculation is based on the needs of two-parent families with young children, it would also support a family throughout life so that young adults are not discouraged from having children and older workers have some extra income as they age. The point of the living wage calculation is to provide a benchmark around what it costs to live in a community, and to raise the discussion about why we have such endemic poverty in Canada and the broad range of supports needed to address it.
In most communities, the living wage is also enough for a single parent with one child to get by. This was the case in Metro Vancouver until the 2012 living wage update but since 2012, the living wage is no longer sufficient for a single parent with one child in Metro Vancouver. This is because the cost of living is rising fast but too many programs intended for low-income families (such as the BC rental assistance program) have income thresholds that are much too low and the subsidy amounts provided have not kept up with the actual expenses that they are meant to defray (such as rent or child care fees). As a result, families are left with large out-of-pocket costs even if they qualify for assistance.
Without the Province’s investments into child care, living wages across the province would have increased considerably this year. In Revelstoke, the 2019 living wage without child care subsidies would have been $21.14 per hour – a shocking 9.1% increase over the 2018 living wage.
This is a call to action for the provincial government to invest more in family expenses other than child care, in order to ensure families without children also benefit from reduced expenses.
The median monthly rent for a three-bedroom unit in Revelstoke rose by $159 in 2019 to $1,800, a whopping 9.7 per cent increase, compared to a 6.5% increase in Metro Vancouver. Shelter continues to be the most expensive item in the living wage budget, and the fastest growing in many communities.
To help curb runaway rental costs, we continue to call for maximum rent increases to be tied to the unit, not to the tenant, to safeguard housing affordability. We also call for the protection of existing affordable housing stock.
Also of note is that vacancy rates across the province continue to be near-prohibitively low. Our living wage calculation assumes the family is able to find a 3-bedroom apartment to rent, but in some communities there are very few options for rentals.
As supporters of the living wage, and acknowledging that the living wage may increase again next year if policy gains are not made in the other expense areas, current Living Wage Employers should continue to pay their 2018 living wage as an act of good faith. However, employers that apply for certification in 2019 will have only to meet the 2019 living wages.
We know our Living Wage Employers support their staff and contractors and want them to be able to have a decent quality of life. The living wage is still a bare bones amount that does not represent a luxurious lifestyle. The living wage includes conservative estimates for all expenses, and does not include costs such as debt payments, savings to buy a home, or an emergency fund. The costs of all family expenses other than child care are still increasing this year. Unless we see further progress on affordability, the living wage will again go up next year.
To learn more about becoming a certified Living Wage Employer, visit: http://www.livingwageforfamilies.ca/employers.
The living wage is the hourly wage that each of two parents with two young children must earn to meet their basic expenses (including rent, child care, food and transportation), once government taxes, credits, deductions and subsidies have been taken into account. The calculation assumes both parents work full time (35 hours per week), and includes a 4-year-old who needs full time child care and a 7-year-old who needs care when not in school. The cost is calculated annually in Working for a Living Wage: Making Paid Work Meet Basic Family Needs in Metro Vancouver, a report published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ BC office, First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition, and the Living Wage for Families Campaign.
The living wage and our calculation has drawn much-needed attention to the affordability crisis in BC. The cost of living has vastly outpaced increases in wages. In particular, the cost of housing has rapidly increased in recent years, and the changes from year to year are significant. Doing an annual calculation allows for an up-to-date picture of the cost of living across BC. Our calculation provides a way to rethink wages as something that should reflect what families actually get to be able to get by.
The living wage is calculated based on regional costs for housing, transportation, child care, food, and other common family expenses. This means living wages will vary across the province. With a province as diverse as BC, communities differ when it comes to their cost of living. For example, while some communities may have lower housing or child care costs, others may have lower-cost public transit or greater access to goods and services.
No matter where they live, families should be able to afford a decent life. There are jobs that need to be done in every community, and therefore people need homes, services, and a good quality of life in every community.
While the living wage is an optional rate that employers can choose to pay, the minimum wage is the provincially-mandated legal minimum employers must pay their employees.
The current general minimum wage in BC is $12.65 per hour, and it will increase to $13.85 per hour on June 1, 2019. It will reach $15.20 per hour in 2021.
The living wage is an amount calculated to reflect the cost of living in a community, whereas the minimum wage is set arbitrarily by the provincially government and is not pegged to inflation or any metric of affordability. As our calculations show, families cannot afford to get by on the minimum wage.
The minimum wage continues to be several dollars below the living wages for most communities. In Revelstoke, the minimum wage as of June 2019 will still be $5.05 per hour lower than the living wage – a difference of over $20,000 in annual income for the living wage family.
However, the fact that some of this year’s living wages come closer to the general minimum wage points again to the power of good public policy. Our calculations for Prince George, Kamloops, and Cranbrook are in the range of $14 per hour, which is very close to the June 2019 minimum wage of $13.85. This is a win for BC families and shows what can happen when governments make bold public investments to help BC families.
Moreover, the Living Wage for Families Campaign is currently engaging with the government’s Fair Wages Commission, which is holding a public consultation about how to address the discrepancy between the minimum wage and a living wage. For more information on this consultation, which is open until May 31, visit: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/fairwagescommission/.
We’ve known for many years that the minimum wage in BC has been too low. The minimum wage did not increase for ten years before it was raised to $8.00 from $7.60 in 2011. If the minimum wage had kept pace with regular increases and had been tied to the cost of living, the gap between the minimum wage and the living wage would be much smaller than it is now. It would not be feasible for the government to increase the minimum wage overnight, but eventually we would like to see legislated wages that mean people can afford to live in their communities. In a society as wealthy as ours, people should not have to make impossible choices like deciding to pay rent or buy food for their children.
On Monday April 29, the provincial government introduced new amendments to the Employment Standards Act, following extensive public and expert consultation. While not directly tied to wages, these changes would bring greater economic security to workers and their families by protecting workers’ rights to collect the wages they’re entitled to, receive better support from the Employment Standards Branch and access job-protected leave. This is a further example of the ways that good public policy can have tangible and important impacts for families.
TELUS Insights uses an advanced approach to big data analytics that can help public and private organizations, as well as all levels of government, make smarter, more informed decisions based on real-world facts.
Using large sets of aggregated wireless network data, the Revelstoke TELUS Insights Data Project provides a 1-year analysis of the City of Revelstoke's population beginning in May, 2018 and continuing until April 30, 2019. The information provided includes origin and quantity of visitors, monthly comparisons of population metrics, and average dwell times. The data will be used by the City of Revelstoke and the City's designated Destination Marketing Organization (the Revelstoke Accommodation Association) to more accurately identify:
1. It helps us to market tourism in Revelstoke as effectively as possible
Data concerning where people are coming from and how long they are staying in the community will help with our tourism marketing efforts and will allow us to make more informed decisions around funding and planning an array of initiatives and projects. It will also help us to identify missed opportunities for attracting visitors from other areas of the province, country and world.
2. Reliable data lets us make smarter decisions
Reliable data on the number of visitors allows us to better understand:
3. It helps us to better understand the seasonal impacts on our community and plan accordingly
The data also enables us to measure the impacts of visitor traffic and increased tourism on Revelstoke and the local hospitality sector, including future workforce and staff housing needs, policing and emergency services, sanitation infrastructure, parks and recreational amenities, and business development.
A key issue that this project addresses is inaccurate and unreliable population data for the City of Revelstoke at different times during the year. Although we use Statistics Canada data, which is collected during the month of May every four years, the success of tourism in our community throughout different seasons makes it is extremely difficult to identify how many people are living or staying in the community at any given time. This lack of accurate resident data makes it challenging to plan for housing needs, business development, infrastructure upgrades, health care needs, and emergency preparedness.
This project was initiated by the City in partnership with the Revelstoke Accommodation Association and Revelstoke Mountain Resort. The project is managed by Community Economic Development for the City of Revelstoke, working directly with Telus through a contractual arrangement to collect and share the data.
Data is collected passively from the TELUS network in a prescribed Revelstoke Study Area for the study period. To protect the privacy of customers, several frameworks and measures are in place:
A data set was built with input from the Revelstoke project group and a series of algorithms are run on the data to identify specific characteristics, such as the:
The lack of reliable population and visitor data impacts our ability to plan for the future of our community. This issue was identified as a significant challenge in developing several community projects. For example, not being able to accurately identify the number of people living in the community or forecast future population growth limits our ability to predict future housing or infrastructure needs, establish development cost charges, determine necessary policing levels, or plan for future transportation or tourism infrastructure needs.
This project allows us to use big data analytics to more accurately understand key population metrics for our community. Tourism stakeholders, the business community, and City staff will be better able to plan for the city’s future needs and to identify specific economic development opportunities. For example:
It is our belief that the entire community will benefit from this project, as it will help the community to operate more efficiently, and be more sustainable and forward-thinking in our economic development efforts.
We will regularly issue communication updates via the City’s website and all information that can be shared with the public will be posted to the Community Economic Development website.
We will also work with local service providers and other City departments to share the relevant data so that planning and service delivery is effective, targeted, and inclusive.
Data will be collected monthly from May 1st,2018 until April 30th,2019. Validation and communication will be ongoing for 2019.
It is important that these population counts are validated, so over the next several months we will be looking for opportunities to compare this data with other sources, including: