Minimum wage rises in Alberta

Alberta’s minimum wage rose to $13.60 from $12.20 per hour Oct. 1, the latest incremental increase as the provincial government moves toward a $15 per hour minimum wage by Oct. 1, 2018.

Alberta now has the highest minimum wage in Canada.

“All hard-working people deserve to earn enough money to support themselves and their families,” said Alberta Minister of Labour Christina Gray in noting the raise.

“Our government is staying true to our commitment to make life better for those Albertans who earn the bare minimum. This increase will boost the spending power of low-income people, which supports Alberta’s economic recovery.”

In the waning days of September, the United Conservative Party had urged the government to delay the wage hike and release independent economic analysis showing the impact of the increase.

The UCP said a higher minimum wage could cause up to 15,000 job losses and disproportionately affect teenagers, young adults and recent immigrants who earn minimum wage and whose jobs could be cut by employers facing higher labour costs.

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Alberta’s Liberal party supported the increase, but leader David Khan said an economic impact study is needed. He said small business owners are already facing higher costs from the carbon tax, and “more nuanced approaches” to poverty reduction are available.

Alberta government statistics indicate more than 292,000 Albertans now earn less than $15 per hour, and more than 59 percent of low income earners are women.

The Oct. 1 increase will raise the annual gross income of minimum wage earners to $28,288 from $25,376.

Saskatchewan’s minimum wage rose to $10.96 from $10.72 on Oct. 1 and Manitoba’s rose to $11.15 from $11. British Columbia’s minimum wage is $11.35.

Contact barb.glen@producer.com

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  • Harold

    People will be paid a higher minimum wage but will have fewer minimum wage jobs to go to. The highest paying Jobs at the top have left Alberta and those people are now jobless too. Government Social Program spending has increased to the highest level in reaction, and the Taxes have risen in Alberta, reducing the family income of the middle class, at a time of joblessness. Good work NDP!!! You have been such a blessing to Alberta. At least the farmers have WCB payments to pay from their profits and the workers are thanking Notley for that. It stands to reason that Alberta got this because Notley was a past specialized WCB Lawyer. The Albertans who are not living off of the government tit are now dismissively called by Notley – the “angry crowd.” That is what the incompetent always do, and it is nothing new. NDP Notley party-hearty flag. To make it in Alberta you have to leave Alberta in droves, and that will fix Notley’s problems. The ones on the government tit and secure will continue to vote and speak for her until the money runs out. Nothing new. If Alberta is her legacy, why isn’t she humbled and embarrassed? Oh, the mind of a politician; like a child with a sling-shot: I didn’t do anything bad, so don’t blame me. What is missing is the dim lights. hot buttered popcorn, and the uncomfortable theater seat.

  • bufford54

    Instead of forcing companies to cough up more money for wages, how about reducing personal taxes on these low income individuals. Or this all about more money going into government coffers? Wealth can only be created by an increase in production. You cannot make a person worth more by making it illegal to pay them less.