The purchasing power Canadians get from their paycheques is failing to keep up with the cost of living, making it harder for many people to make ends meet, the Globe and Mail reports. New figures from Statistics Canada show that the average weekly wage increase over the past year was 1.1 per cent, the slowest rise since November 2009. Meanwhile, inflation is close to three per cent, meaning real wages have declined. Furthermore, rising commodity prices are translating into higher energy and food costs for Canadians. The new numbers also point to a widening income divide between the western provinces, which are benefitting from an ongoing commodity boom, and the former manufacturing heartland of central Canada.