New Brunswick

Anti-poverty group pushes for higher minimum wage

A New Brunswick group is pushing the new Liberal government to keep its promise to immediately raise the minimum wage rate to $10.30 an hour.

Premier Brian Gallant promised during election that minimum wage would hit $11 an hour by 2017

New Brunswick currently has a minimum wage of $10 an hour. (The Canadian Press)

A New Brunswick group is pushing the new Liberal government to keep its promise to immediately raise the minimum wage rate to $10.30 an hour. 

Along with Newfoundland and Labrador and the Northwest Territories, New Brunswick has the lowest minimum wage in Canada at $10 an hour.

Jean-Claude Basque with the New Brunswick Common Front for Social Justice says a freeze on wages in 2012 has impacted the purchasing power of minimum wage workers. He doesn’t think an increase would lead to more unemployment.

“It would help those workers consume more and help the economy,” he said.

While an increase in the minimum wage would likely receive opposition from the business community, Basque feels they shouldn’t complain about it.

“They want all kinds of tax rebates that are going to be paid by people that are working. They want help from government in their business, so they can't have it both ways,” he said.

Premier Brian Gallant promised in the election that minimum wage would reach $11 dollars an hour by 2017. 

Basque says eight per cent of people in New Brunswick earned minimum wage last year.

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