Minimum wage up in six provinces as inflation continues ascent

By The Canadian Press

Canadians workers earning minimum wage in several provinces are now seeing an increase in their paycheques.

Six provinces – Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador – hiked their minimum wage on Oct. 1.

The increases come as the cost of living soars, with Canada’s annual inflation rate reaching a nearly 40-year high in recent months.

Labour advocates say minimum wage gains are long overdue but don’t go far enough to address the affordability crisis.

Canadian Labour Congress president Bea Bruske says the long-awaited goal of a $15 an hour pay floor across the country would no longer address the soaring costs of basics like food and housing.

However, Dan Kelly, president and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, says the minimum wage increase comes at a tough time for businesses which are also facing challenges.

“Fewer than half of small businesses are back to normal levels of sales,” he said.

“The average small firm has taken on $160,000 in COVID-related debt and their costs have been rising rapidly. Right now any increase in costs for business is really tough to handle.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 3, 2022.

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