Calgary’s poverty line higher than Toronto and Vancouver

Statistics Canada’s latest results show us that you must make more living in Calgary than other major Canadian cities to be above the poverty line, Danina Falkenberg has more in this report.

By Danina Falkenberg

Calgarians have to make more than those in Toronto or Vancouver to be above the poverty line, according to Statistics Canada’s (StatCan) latest report.

StatCan’s Market Basket Measure is how Canada measures poverty and is based on cost of living, which includes food, and clothing. Shelter and transportation use a reference family of two adults and two children.

The latest stats for 2022 show Calgary at $55,771, which means if a family makes below that in disposable income, they’re living in poverty.

When compared to Toronto, the basket number is $55,262, and Vancouver is $55,727, both lower than in Calgary. Alberta’s capital city Edmonton is at $55,225, making fourth place on the list.

Calgary leads, followed by Vancouver, Toronto, and then Edmonton.

And how do people living in Calgary feel about the poverty line being higher here?

“The properties the price jumped up in the last two or three months,” said a woman to CityNews.

“The worst case is the houses you can’t buy — any house right now, even in Calgary. All the people in BC and Ontario, they can’t buy houses. Now they start coming over here the interest rates are like (points up),” one man explained.

“The cost is rising, basically, I think your wage should also increase.”

A university student who shared her views says she feels bad complaining about the cost of living when it’s so hard on so many people.

“It makes me feel kind of sad, I mean I know I pay my own rent and I have to pay my bills and it does affect me,” she said.

“It affects my bank account a lot, it’s a big chunk every month and just like living on my own having to feed myself is all my expenses pretty much.”

And this international student is in tune with cost-of-living changes because of what he hears from locals.

“I stay with people that complain a lot that comparing years ago to now cost of living is really too much for them to bear, he explained.

“Because paying for rent, groceries, for a bag of rice someone told me used to cost cheaper than today, and they keep complaining about what’s happening. Fine, inflation but then they should do something about it because it’s too much for them to bear.”

The Market Basket Measure has been used in Canada to measure the poverty line since 2019 after the release of Opportunity for All – Canada’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy.

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