This week in Martlet history

Sept. 6, 1990 — Housing market too tight

If you feel as though you’re going to be robbed blind every month starting in September, you aren’t the only one. Students at the start of the ’90s faced this challenge, as low housing-vacancy was paired with increasingly high rent.

Part of the reason was that bylaws were in effect that prohibited homeowners from renting out spare rooms and basement suites, now popular with older students and recent graduates.

With residence rooms filled to capacity, students in their second year and beyond battled it out for a tiny room in shared housing.

Meanwhile, the University of Victoria Students’ Society was in the early stages of lobbying for more student housing, despite 112 new single rooms being built in the previous year. Plans for another 181 living spaces were in the works, but students would have to wait until the following year for them to be available.

Despite available apartment postings on campus, over 1 000 students were still without a place to stay, forcing them to live with a friend or to stay in less than ideal living situations. The current student housing situation appears to be less dire, but remains challenging enough as September rolls around every year.

Here’s to house hunting!


Sept. 7, 2000 — Minimum wage: a critical eye on labour

In case you were wondering how much minimum wage has increased since the turn of the century, here’s your answer. In 2000, B.C. minimum wage climbed from $7.15 to $7.60, with the promise of a potential $8 from the NDP government.

It was critically debated whether higher minimum wage would have numerous effects on the job market or total number of low-income jobs, an argument that still stands today. One of the main arguments in 2000 was that with higher paying jobs, young people had the potential to drop out of school to make more time for work and money. Or at least this was a concern.

Ironically, at $8 per hour, a full-time employee was meeting the poverty line exactly and still suffering from tax deductions, with the exception of full-time students.

Surprisingly, at this time, Statistics Canada states 61 per cent of those earning minimum wage were adults, contrary to the belief that minimum wage earners were mostly teenagers and students.

And in case you were wondering, B.C. minimum wage is currently $10.25 per hour.

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