British Columbia Now Has Canada's Lowest Minimum Wage
As of September 1, British Columbia is number one in Canada on at least one list: worst minimum wage in the country.
In April of 2009, New Brunswick tied B.C. for lowest minimum wage, raising the lowest hourly pay to 8 dollars an hour. But on September 1st, N.B. goes one step further, taking the pay to $8,25. British Columbia froze its minimum wage to 8 dollars an hour in 2001, but employers have the right to pay $6 an hour to people without previous work experience, for a total of 500 hours.
According to Policy Note, a non-partisan research institute focusing on B.C. issues, a B.C resident with a full time job that pays minimum wage would have 240 dollars to live on after paying the standard rent for a two-bedroom apartment, $1,100. New Brunswick has a much lower cost of living, with the same two-bedroom apartment costing $656. Vancouver has one of the highest costs of living in the country.
New Brunswick Labour Minister Donald Arseneault referred to their minimum wage as "embarrassing".
Jim Sinclair, president of the B.C. Federation of Labour, said it’s “ridiculous” to argue that raising wages would hurt the economy or the restaurant industry —which has been opposed to minimum wage hikes.
“It’s crazy to argue that when people have money in their pocket it’s bad for the economy,” said Sinclair. “The premier has lowered the wage 25 per cent for new hires and immigrants.
And what’s he done with his own wage? He raised it by 109 per cent.” Sinclair added that minimum wages are consistently adjusted to inflation in most other provinces and territories, and their economies are fine.
Here is the list of minimum wages across Canada, as of August 31st:
Province General Wage More Information Alberta $8.80 Alberta Employment and Immigration BC $8.00 B.C. Ministry of Labour Manitoba $8.75 Manitoba Labour New Brunswick $8.00 New Brunswick Employment Standards Newfoundland $9.00 Labour Relations Agency NWT $8.25
Nova Scotia $8.60 Environment and Labour Nunavut $10.00
Ontario $9.50 Ministry of Labour PEI $8.20 Community and Cultural Affairs Quebec $9.00 Commission des normes du travail Saskatchewan $9.25 Saskatchewan Labour Yukon $8.89