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At a time when many families are struggling to pay their bills, the party that wins Alberta’s 2023 election could lend support to minimum-wage workers by immediately raising the minimum wage and then indexing the minimum wage to increase each year in line with inflation.
Alberta’s new premier Danielle Smith is taking the reins of government at a time when many families are struggling to pay their bills. Inflation is high. The wages of many Albertans are not keeping up. Alberta’s minimum wage has been frozen at $15 since October 1, 2018. Premier Smith could give minimum-wage workers a hand up during these difficult times by raising the minimum wage. The UCP government should also legislate annual increases to the minimum wage that align with the annual rate of inflation.
Alberta’s minimum wage should be a living wage, especially during a pandemic. October 1 marks the second straight year that Alberta’s United Conservative government has not increased the provincial minimum wage, meaning the wages of almost 300,000 workers are losing value against consumer price inflation.
Parkland Institute research manager Ian Hussey writes about which Albertans have benefited from the $15 minimum wage and its impact on employment and hours of work.
Despite the stated benefits of the UCP government's new labour legislation, Bill 2 will reduce workers' income, make payroll administration more complex for employers, and impede workers seeking to join a union.
United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney has proposed changes to labour legislation, including reducing the 17-and-under minimum wage to $13 an hour. Ian Hussey looks at claims that increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour has had a "job-killing impact."
This op-ed by Parkland Institute research manager Ian Hussey appeared on the National Observer on February 21, 2019.
This op-ed by Parkland Institute research manager Ian Hussey appeared in the Edmonton Journal on September 18, 2018.
Parkland Institute research manager Ian Hussey contrasts the predicted and actual impacts of recent minimum wage increases in Alberta in this January 6, 2018 op-ed for the Globe and Mail.