The Quebec government has announced that it will raise the province’s minimum wage by 20 cents — to $10.35 an hour — starting May 1.
Labour Minister Agnès Maltais made the announcement Wednesday afternoon in Shawinigan, where the Parti Québécois is holding a caucus meeting.
For people who work in the service industry and make tips, minimum wage will increase by 15 cents — to $8.90.
Maltais says this is good news for workers.
“When we raise the electricity, when we raise the taxes, when everything is rising, they are very much affected. So we need to increase the minimum wage, which is what we’re doing," Maltais said.
"We have added 45 cents in two years now, so that’s very good,” she said, adding that about 385,000 workers in Quebec — most of them women — earn minimum wage.
Maltais denied the timing of the announcement was planned to woo voters ahead of a widely expected election call.
Even with May's increase, Quebec will remain in the middle of the pack as compared to the rest of Canada. The Ontario government announced last month it will raise its minimum hourly wage to $11.00 — matching the rate in Nunavut.
Yukon's minimum wage is $10.54, while Manitoba's is $10.45. Nova Scotia is raising its minimum wage to $10.40, effective April 1.