Waterloo resident Simran Gajbhiye works more than 50 hours per week, handling two jobs.
She works as a full-time Communications & Information Specialist at the YMCA of Three Rivers during the weekdays and serves as a freelance Marketing Manager for local businesses in the KW area during the weekends. Gajbhiye also said that the majority of her friends maintain dual employment as they are managing student loans and other financial obligations that necessitate additional income.
“From Monday to Friday, I dedicate 37.5 hours to my role at YMCA, and during the weekends and after hours, I invest 12-14 hours in contributing to Unique Boutique,” Gajbhiye said.
Due to rising cost of living, it is not uncommon to see working class people taking up multiple jobs to be able to afford rent, food, and other utilities while trying to lead a somewhat comfortable lifestyle.
According to Mike Morrice, the Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre, the current wealth gap is not a surprise, but rather a predictable outcome of several systemic issues. Among these, social supports like the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) have not been indexed to inflation, leaving vulnerable individuals without adequate assistance.
“We have a housing crisis, exponential increases in the cost of housing, gas, food. And we know that the largest corporations in the country are gouging Canadians while making record-breaking profits,” Morrice said,
Morrice and his team put forward a proposal which would end exemptions for corporate landlords, especially targeting tax exemptions.
“And so, across the board, we’re not seeing a government response that matches the scale of this crisis, at a time when those who are most vulnerable are seeing their supports stagnate, while those who are wealthiest are seeing record-breaking profits,” he said.
Kulvir Kaur, an esthetician at Waxing Tree Body Studio in Cambridge, is an active member of several mothers’ Facebook groups in the region. Over the past few months, she has observed a concerning trend among struggling mothers who are facing difficulties providing food for their toddlers until their paychecks arrive.