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Nunavut's minimum wage increases to $16 starting April 1

Nunavut’s minimum wage is going up by three dollars — making it the highest in Canada. Starting April 1, Nunavummiut making minimum wage will be paid $16 an hour, instead of $13. 

Territory will have the highest minimum wage in Canada

Justice Minister Jeannie Ehaloak says Nunavut's new minimum wage will make life easier for families. The wage is going up to $16 in April. (David Gunn/CBC)

Nunavut's minimum wage is going up by three dollars — making it the highest in Canada.

Starting April 1, Nunavummiut making minimum wage will be paid $16 an hour, instead of $13. 

Minister of Justice Jeannie Ehaloak announced the increase on Thursday in the legislature. 

"With this increase, Nunavut will have the highest minimum wage in the country," she said. 

"This represents a substantial increase from the existing minimum wage and will help support Nunavummiut and their families."

The territory last saw an increase to its hourly wage in 2016. In Yukon, the wage is $12.71, though it is increasing to $13.71 on April 1. 

Right now, the Northwest Territories has the highest minimum wage in the North, at $13.46. 

In Alberta, the minimum wage is $15. Ontario pays $14.

The change comes after the Department of Justice finished a survey to see what amount would work for Nunavut. 

The territory also has the highest cost of living in Canada. In the fall, MLAs petitioned for the minimum wage to be increased to a "living wage," to match this reality. 

Ehaloak explained this sitting that a minimum wage and a living wage aren't calculated the same way. She said small businesses owners could not meet a higher wage. 

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