The Alberta provincial New Democratic Government (NDP) led by Rachel Notley is following through on a promise made during last year's election campaign that the minimum wage in Alberta would be raised to $15 an hour.
|The NDP government will be phasing in the increases. On October 1 this year, the minimum will rise by a dollar to $12.20 per hour. On Oct 1 the next year, it will increase to $13.60 per hour. On October 1, 2018 it will reach the full $15 per hour.|
“We have benefited greatly from paying higher than minimum wages through very high staff retention thereby saving on training, maintaining efficiencies and creating a workplace people want to be part of. Everybody’s lives have a fundamental worth, and if they are spending their energy and time to work and benefit society, then they are deserving of a fair wage.”
"Restaurants Canada and some of the well-funded lobby groups have been heard through this process and they were part of our consultations. I absolutely listened with interest. And through the consultations we listened to small businesses, as well as employees who are low-wage earners, people who are lobbyists for various sides. We believe making sure every Albertan has a fair wage is most important."Jan Reimer, executive director of Alberta Council of Women's Shelters, said the increase is significant, saying: "We know that income security is the primary determinant of individual and community health. Alberta's plan to increase minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2018 could be one of the most significant policy changes for Canadian health this decade." Gray said that the increase will help ensure that every Albertan will be able to afford rents, transportation and food. On the other side, Arthur Ruddy, director of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business complained that the government's consultation with business groups was only for show saying: "What's frustrating is the headline of the release that says 'minimum wage brings hope to hard-working Albertans.' Entrepreneurs are hard-working Albertans, They get a slap in the face while the economy is still reeling from a recession." The government had already raised the minimum wage by a dollar last fall.