Minimum wage goes up Thursday in five provinces

Minimum wage earners in five provinces are getting a pay hike.Starting Thursday, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador are raising the minimum wage employers must pay their workers.The new minimum wage in Alberta will be $11.20 per hour, up from $10.20, while the liquor server wage goes to $10.70 per hour from $9.20.Alberta’s NDP government says it’s a first step toward a $15 minimum wage by 2018.Ontario’s weak economy is driving immigrants away, Fraser study arguesWynne’s losing performance: How Ontario’s growth-killing policies are sinking the economyWhat are elections good for? Economically, absolutely nothingIn Saskatchewan, minimum wage is going up by 30 cents to $10.50 an hour.Manitoba is also increasing its minimum wage by 30 cents to $11 an hour.Ontario and Newfoundland are increasing their minimum hourly wages by 25 cents each on Thursday, as well. The minimum wage in Ontario is now $11.25 and Newfoundland’s is $10.50.Alberta Wildrose jobs critic Grant Hunter criticized the wage hike, saying it will hurt business owners at a time when the economy is not doing well.“Wildrose has repeatedly asked the government to consider who they are really going to affect with this hike. We are concerned about those it is intended to help the most: Alberta’s youth, non-profits and our province’s most vulnerable,” Hunter said in a news release.The Alberta Federation of Labour praised the hike, saying it’s long overdue.“This increase to the minimum wage won’t make the sky fall. It won’t cause businesses to grind to a halt. What it will do is just one thing: it will make life better for Alberta’s lowest-paid workers,” said Siobhan Vipond, the federation’s acting treasurer.In an outreach blitz in downtown Toronto, supporters of the Fight for $15 and Fairness are reminding workers in Toronto and across Ontario that the province’s first legislated cost of living adjustment will be taking effect Oct. 1, when the minimum wage increases by 25 cents.“We want to get the word out that the minimum wage is being adjusted by 25 cents to keep up with inflation,” says Deena Ladd, coo-rdinator of the Workers’ Action Centre. “Workers should be looking for this adjustment on their next pay cheques.”According to Statistics Canada, as of the beginning of September 2015, Alberta has the highest Consumer Price Index in the country, and remains the most expensive province to live. Ontario, which has one of the lowest CPIs in the country, has a minimum wage that will still be higher after Alberta’s minimum wage increase.The minimum wages in the remaining provinces and territories are:B.C.: $10.45 per hourNew Brunswick: $10.30 per hourNova Scotia: $10.60 per hourP.E.I.: $10.50 per hourQuebec: $10.55 per hourYukon: $10.86 per hourN.W.T.: $12.50 per hourNunavut: $11.00 per hour read more