By Darnel Harris
What would making $15 an hour mean for people in our community? For many, it could mean the difference between poverty and a decent wage.
With over 1 in 10 unemployed in our community, many families simply cannot make ends meet.
For those that are employed, working long, hard hours during the evenings and overnight should be more than enough to live securely. However, we know it is not. Our families cannot pay rent, afford clothing and support loved ones. Rather than be a guarantee of comfort, the minimum wage is a gateway to continued poverty and insecurity.
In theory, people say we have equality – success is apparently available for all of us if we simply worked hard enough.
However, we know that our community already works very hard. Without equal opportunity – without our government investing in transit, jobs and childcare – adults, and the youth and seniors that depend on their incomes, will continue to struggle to succeed.
The NDP supports a $15 federal minimum wage which will help reduce income inequality and ensure a fairer and healthier economy.
For youth, it will mean a strong motivation to work in order to save for their future. For adults, it will mean being able to stay healthy, plan for the future, and spend more time with their families. It will also put pressure on provincial governments to follow suit.
Stephen Harper himself said in 2012, “I believe very strongly that in this world you have to have values and you have to stand up for your interests and if you don’t do those things you’re not going to get anywhere.”
What will our community stand up for in this election? We will see on October 19, 2015.
Darnel Harris is the NDP Candidate for Humber River-Black Creek (formerly York West) in the upcoming Canadian Federal Election this October.
Tell us how you feel about a $15 minimum wage by emailing us