N.B. rejects 2-tiered minimum wage
The New Brunswick government has rejected the idea of implementing a lower minimum wage for workers who earn tips.
For months, the government was studying whether to implement a two-tiered minimum wage. But Labour Minister Martine Coulombe said Wednesday the province won't pursue it.
"We decided to stay status quo," Coulombe told The Canadian Press.
"We feel that a single, general minimum wage is the right standard of pay for our province."
Late last year, the government posted an online survey in an effort to seek public opinion on the matter. The government saidabout 65 per cent of the 2,077 people who responded were against a two-tiered minimum wage.
The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association, which had been lobbying for a lower minimum wage for people who earn tips, said it was baffled by the government's decision.
"My hope was that New Brunswick would have been a real leader here," Luc Erjavec, the association's Atlantic vice-president, said in an interview from St. John's, N.L.
"Quite frankly, we're extremely disappointed and it's not the direction that other Canadian provinces are doing."
Erjavec said he wanted New Brunswick to adopt the model in Ontario, where only people who work in establishments that serve alcohol are paid a different minimum wage.
He also took issue with the government's online survey.
"If government used an online poll that can be easily manipulated as their rationale for bailing on this idea, it's not a scientific poll and it doesn't hold any credibility."
Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia pay different minimum wages to people who collect tips.
Coulombe said the minimum wage will increase by 50 cents to $10 per hour on April 1. That increase was originally scheduled to take effect last September, but it was put on hold following complaints from some businesses that the minimum wage was rising too quickly.
Erjavec said that hike would harm small businesses.
"Absolutely, it's going to hurt," he said. "The evidence is clear that when you have an increase in the minimum wage, hours are cut and jobs are lost."