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Making ends meet and working well
Goal 5: Making ends meet

Making ends meet and working well

Our goal: Adequate income and access to a broad range of healthy employment opportunities
Living wage in Metro Vancouver

Income is a strong determinant of health and well-being. While Vancouver is a growing, thriving city, we also have high poverty rates, and many people struggle to make ends meet.

Making ends meet and working well means:

  • Ensuring that income is more evenly distributed, and
  • Ensuring healthy work environments and jobs

These steps benefit us as individuals, but they also benefit our families, our communities, our employers and the economy as a whole.

Our target: Reduce the city’s poverty rate by 75%, and an increase the median income by at least 3% every year

Progress we've made so far

Low income
Median income
Low income chart

Low-income individuals

Median income

  • Median personal income is $30,110 (2014)
    Source: Statistics Canada, Income Tax Returns, accessed through Community Data Program 

Income Distribution

  • 34% of after‑tax income goes to the top 10% of earners (2013)
    Source: Statistics Canada, Income Tax Returns, accessed through Community Data Program 

Working Poor

  • 10% of persons 18-64 with employment income, excluding students and dependents, are below the after-tax low income measure (2013)
    Source: Statistics Canada, Income Tax Returns, accessed through Community Data Program 

Living Wage

Job quality

  1. Educate the Leadership Table and City of Vancouver staff on the Living Wage Employer certification process. Assess the steps which need to be taken to implement a Living Wage policy at the City of Vancouver.
    • Results: We will ensure that the City of Vancouver and others are better positioned to consider becoming certified living wage employers.
  2. Encourage the development and/or enhancement of social procurement frameworks among the Leadership Table members. Create a formal social procurement framework to guide the City of Vancouver's procurement practices. Develop, implement and monitor community benefit agreement (CBA) policy for large developments to reduce barriers to employment and enhance local purchasing.
    • Results: We will develop a strategic framework that provides direction for social procurement and community benefit agreements to advance economic, environmental and social development.
  3. Create a network of services to provide social entrepreneurs with capacity-building opportunities; connect them with existing physical spaces to test new ideas and business models; and explore opportunities to showcase these in public using residual or under-used spaces.
    • Results: We will develop opportunities for empowerment and economic independence among residents, particularly those facing barriers to traditional employment
  4. Determine how the City and local communities can, through proactive policies and practices, help reduce poverty and drive action at other levels of government, and advance the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition’s Poverty Reduction Strategy.
    • Results: We will improve and revise City activities and policies in order to help address conditions of poverty, and make focused advocacy efforts to increase effectiveness of poverty strategy provincially and nationally.

Initiatives helping us reach these goals and targets

Community grants

To help build strong communities in Vancouver, the City offers a range of grants funding for non-profit social groups and neighbourhood organizations.

Diversity in hiring

The City of Vancouver believes in recruiting and retaining a qualified workforce that reflects our diverse community.

Vancouver Economic Commission

Learn how the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) strenghtens our city's economic future.

Healthy City Action Plan 2015 - 2018

See what we've got planned to help meet our goals. 

Download the plan  

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