Nunavut's minimum wage rises to $13/hour today

The minimum wage in Nunavut goes up today to $13 an hour, making it the highest minimum wage in Canada.

First hike since 2011

The minimum wage in Nunavut goes up today to $13 an hour, making it the highest minimum wage in Canada.

It is the first hike in Nunavut's minimum wage since 2011, when it was increased to $11.

When Members of the Legislative Assembly voted to raise the minimum wage in November, they also voted to change how it can be either raised or lowered in future. Now the change can be voted on by cabinet and the regulation printed in the Nunavut Gazette.

Previously, a bill would have to be introduced and voted on in the legislative assembly.

Iqaluit-Niaqunnguu MLA Pat Angnakak says raising the minimum wage is a step in the right direction "but in my own view, I don't think $13 an hour is enough to live on in Iqaluit." 

Small business owners say they are already feeling the crunch of trying to offer competitive, livable wages.

Sadie Vincent-Wolfe is the owner of I Like Cake, an Iqaluit small business. She says it is hard to retain employees when offering $15 an hour.

"It makes it a little more difficult because I was already offering more than minimum wage and with minimum wage rising, to keep it competitive I'd have to increase even more which is pretty cost prohibitive."

Vincent-Wolfe says most workers are looking for $20 to $21 an hour. She says if she could hire one or two more employees, it would help her business grow as she currently has to turn away catering orders.