Minimum wage in the N.W.T. to rise to $13.46 per hour, a 96-cent raise for workers

Starting April 1, workers in the Northwest Territories will receive $13.46 per hour, up from the current minimum wage of $12.50.

Pay will increase to $13.46 per hour, up from $12.50 on April 1

Minimum wage is rising to $13.46 per hour on April 1. Education, Culture and Employment Minister Alfred Moses made the announcement on Wednesday morning. (Peter Scobie/CBC)

Minimum wage in the Northwest Territories is set to increase by just under $1 this spring.

Wages will rise to $13.46 per hour from $12.50 per hour starting April 1, Education, Culture and Employment Minister Alfred Moses announced Wednesday. 

This rate is still well below what is considered to be a living wage for the Northwest Territories, according to one study. In 2015, Alternatives North released a report stating workers in Yellowknife need to be paid $20 per hour in order to make ends meet. It increased to about $22 per hour in 2017.

About 700 people in the territory currently make minimum wage, according to Andy Bevan, assistant deputy minister of Education, Culture and Employment.

Moses stated he believes the wage hike will help grow the N.W.T. economy.

Andy Bevan, the assistant deputy minister of the Education, Culture and Employment Department, says 700 people in the Northwest Territories make minimum wage. (Randall McKenzie/CBC)
"I am confident that this increase will be both good for workers, who will earn a better wage, and good for business, which will be able to attract workers for minimum wage positions," he stated in a news release.

Minimum wage last increased in the territory in 2015. 

In 2013, the former education, culture and employment minister appointed a minimum wage committee to research and inform the minister on wage options. The committee is made up of representatives from business, labour and community organizations across the territory.

In order to determine how much minimum wage should rise in the territory, the committee analyzed the minimum wage in other parts of Canada and how that relates to the cost of living and the state of their economies. 

The N.W.T. government reviews minimum wage every two years.

Minimum wages across Canada

Alberta — $13.60

British Columbia — $11.35

Manitoba — $11.15

New Brunswick — $11

Newfoundland and Labrador — $11

Nova Scotia — $10.85

Nunavut — $13

Ontario — $14

Prince Edward Island — $11.25

Quebec — $11.25

Saskatchewan — $10.96

Yukon — $11.32