Put your money where your mouth is, Kelowna

This decision says this corporation values and respects its employees …

It’s time to put your money where your mouth is — or as the case may be, where your pet’s mouth is.

The chatter on the Capital News’ social media accounts continually reflects a local interest to see businesses provide a wage that area residents can survive on. Whether it’s mandated by government or simply the fruits of a successful enterprise seems to be the only point of contention in this “sunshine tax” beleaguered corner of the world.

Well, someone’s gone and done it. They’re offering the wage we’ve all been saying is needed.

In case you’ve missed what I believe to be the most important story this week, Buckerfield’s announced that as of Sept. 2, all of its full-time staff at eight stores on Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland, Okanagan and Shuswap will be paid according to a “living wage” scale.

A living wage being the standard of pay based on actual living costs in a given region. Around here, according to the Central Okanagan Regional District,that was $18.42 as of 2014.

It’s a significant departure from B.C’s mandated minimum wage of $11.35 an hour and it offers more people in this valley to live well.

It’s yet to be seen whether it will be tenable, but I suspect it is, especially if we all decided to support it.

And why wouldn’t you?

It’s not simply dollars and cents we’re talking about. This decision says this corporation values and respects its employees and it’s showing it in the only way it has to offer—fair remuneration.

If they can succeed doing it they will prove definitively that those in this valley who don’t pay a fair wage, yet seem to live quite well themselves, aren’t savvy business owners.

They’re failing to show respect to the very people who ensure they are able to make ends meet and why should we, as consumers, respect that?

So, for the first and likely only time of my career I’m going to offer some shopping advice—head to the store that offers you more than the goods that get rung through on the till.

Spend your dollars in a way that proves you respect your neighbours and see value in the work they do. Maybe, it will come back in spades … shovels, rakes and general well-being.