A report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative found the richest half of Ontario families raising children took home 81 per cent of earnings in 2013-2015, leaving the bottom half to share 19 per cent.
The gap has widened from a 78-22 ratio, in 2000 to 2002.
For families in the bottom half, the rise in precarious and low wage work has meant touch choices.
“If your kids have a field trip, you’re in trouble, if your kids have a growth spurt, you’re in trouble,” said Isabella Daley, whose daughters are now 19 and 24 and living at home.
Even trips to the grocery store can mean choosing between shampoo and household cleaning supplies, said Daley, who advocates for living wages through the Hamilton Round-table for Poverty Reduction.
Bill 148, the so-called Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, proposes raising the minimum wage from $11.40 to $15 by 2019, along with changes supposedly to make it easier to join a union. Socialists advocate $18 an hour minimum wage now, and automatic union certification in every work place where over 50 per cent of the employees sign up to join a union.