How Much You Need To Make To Live 'With Dignity' In 7 Quebec Cities

The after-tax income you need to live comfortably out of poverty.

Senior Editor
Aerial view of buildings in downtown Montreal.

Aerial view of buildings in downtown Montreal.

A new report breaks down "livable income" thresholds in seven Quebec cities. The study from the Institut de recherche et d’informations socioéconomiques (IRIS) examined the cost of living in Gatineau, Montreal, Quebec City, Saguenay, Sept-Îles, Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivières to determine how much money a household would need after taxes in 2022 to live both above the poverty line and "with dignity" in each urban area.

The IRIS calculated livable incomes for three types of households: a person living alone, a couple with one child in publicly subsidized daycare (a CPE), and a couple with two children in a CPE.

Here's the institute's breakdown by city:

Gatineau

  • person living alone: $29,593
  • couple, one child in daycare: $42,548
  • couple, two children in daycare: $65,743

Montreal

  • person living alone: $29,577
  • couple, one child in daycare: $41,692
  • couple, two children in daycare: $65,033

Quebec City

  • person living alone: $28,967
  • couple, one child in daycare: $41,225
  • couple, two children in daycare: $64,358

Saguenay

  • person living alone: $25,128
  • couple, one child in daycare: $46,146
  • couple, two children in daycare: $61,662

Sept-Îles

  • person living alone: $34,814
  • couple, one child in daycare: $47,339
  • couple, two children in daycare: $70,322

Sherbrooke

  • person living alone: $26,299
  • couple, one child in daycare: $38,731
  • couple, two children in daycare: $62,131

Trois-Rivières

  • person living alone: $25,463
  • couple, one child in daycare: $37,869
  • couple, two children in daycare: $61,385
According to Statistics Canada, the median income without a differentiation of sex in Quebec was $39,300 in 2020, the latest year with data available.
In a press release, the IRIS also criticized the province's recent minimum wage hike, as well as the Legault government's $500 handout to households making $100,000 and less.
Both, the institute said, are inadequate.
IRIS researcher Julia Posca called for a minimum wage of "at least" $18/hour. The current $14.25 "is not nearly enough to reach the sustainable income level," the IRIS said. Left-wing provincial political party Québec solidaire is already advocating for an $18 hourly wage.
Thomas MacDonald
Senior Editor
Thomas MacDonald is a Senior Editor for MTL Blog focused on Montreal public transit and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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