Saturday, June 2, 2012

Alberta raises minimum wage now second lowest in Canada still

Even though Alberta is one of the richest provinces in Canada with rich oil deposits until recently it had the lowest minimum wage in Canada. However, on Sept 1 the province will raise the minimum wage to $9.75 per hour.

The new 35 cent increase will put Alberta at the second lowest minimum wage rate in Canada. Saskatchewan next door will now have the lowest rate at $9.50. Both provinces have right leaning governments even though in the past Saskatchewan was home to the most leftist government under the CCF of any Canadian province. How times change.

The minimum wage for those who serve liquor will remain at $9.05 per hour. Presumably the rationale is that the wage is supplemented by tips. In reality it is probably a nod to bar owners who help fund the Conservative government!

The Alberta government puts a positive spin on the wage saying that if you factor in the low taxes in Alberta it is second highest in Canada. But the Alberta Federation of Labor says that government is spinning the truth and noted that Alberta has the highest provincial cost of living in Canada. People trying to live on the minimum wage will hardly be able to make ends meet.

Nunavut in the north has the highest minimum wage of 11 dollars no doubt necessary because of the isolation and high living expenses. For more see this article.

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