The reason it doesn't sound like much is because it isn't - especially for a family. Bear in mind that even if West employees are getting 40 hours of work per week, their gross pay is only $520/week. Factor in at least 25% for taxes and deductions, and you end up with a net pay of only $390/week. How on earth does one support a family in Victoria on less than $1600/month? Forgive me if I don't weep for the demise of West. I am sure their employees will find at least equitible, if not better employment elsewhere in the region.
You're right, it doesnt sound like much, especially if you are a bit older and have a family to support. But that was the wage offered. Keep in mind, any employee can vote with their feet. If they feel the wage isnt good enough, go elsewhere, or improve their skillset etc. Working at West is not a jail sentence.
Heres a challenge for you, go lease a building in Victoria, figure out a product or service to provide, hire the staff with a "living wage" and then price your product to be competitive with the market.
Most business largest expense are wages and there is a direct correlation between the price of the service and the wage paid. Looked at the cost of construction recently?
I agree with you that people deserve to earn enough to live, however $12/hour is probably more than adequate in saskatoon, but not here for a principle bread winner. For a student perhaps.
I always wanted to know what a living wage is...how much?