Muskoka Brewery to become first Living Wage Certified Brewery in Canada

Bracebridge, Ontario – Muskoka Brewery and The Poverty Reduction of Muskoka Planning Team (PROMPT) are pleased to announce that Muskoka Brewery will become Canada’s first brewery to commit to a living wage for its employees.

Different from the minimum wage, a living wage is based on the principle that full time work should provide families a basic level of economic security above the poverty line. The living wage calculation includes the cost of living in the local community and social inclusion. The result is a decent quality of life and the ability to live healthier lives.

PROMPT and Muskoka Brewery have joined forces to launch Muskoka’s Living Wage initiative to create a better standard of living for the people in Muskoka and to educate local employers on the benefit for community, businesses and workforce.

“We started this living wage journey a year ago with the desire to make a difference for the many working families struggling to make ends meet,” says Kelly Watson, Director of People and Development at Muskoka Brewery and Living Wage committee member.

Over the next few months, the Canadian Centre of Policy Alternatives’ Ontario Office and the Ontario Living Wage Network will support the development of Muskoka’s living wage calculation.

“The Ontario Living Wage Network welcomes the launch of the Muskoka Living Wage initiative and congratulates Muskoka Brewery and PROMPT for their leadership and commitment to living wage,” says Tom Cooper, Coordinator of Ontario Living Wage Network.” Muskoka Brewery is joining a growing movement in Ontario and will leave a mark as Canada’s first brewery to commit to pay its employees a living wage.”

“Living Wage is a call to action, and an achievable poverty reduction strategy – one that we are very proud to support,” says Gary McMullen, President and Founder of Muskoka Brewery. “We recognize that not all employers can jump into certification right away, but we can all do our part one step at a time. We look forward to working with the community and local government to continue to make positive change here in Muskoka. Muskoka Brewery has been well supported by our local community over the past 20 years. Providing a living wage is our long term commitment to our team, the Muskoka community, and the Ontario Living Wage Network.”

PROMPT’s Living Wage Committee will announce Muskoka’s living wage rate early this fall. In the interim Muskoka Brewery and PROMPT are happy to hold discussions with community representatives, municipal governments and employers about the principles and positive community impact we can have by embracing a living wage.

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