PEI

Minimum wage rises across the Maritimes

Maritimers who earn minimum wage are getting a pay hike today, and it's not an April Fool's Day joke.
Minimum wage rose across the Maritimes April 1. (CBC)

Maritimers who earn minimum wage are getting a pay hike today, and it's not an April Fool's Day joke.

The rate in all three provinces went up.

  • On P.E.I., wages have gone up 40 cents to $10 per hour.
  • In New Brunswick, wages rose 50 cents to $10 per hour.
  • In Nova Scotia, the minimum wage rose 15 cents, climbing to $10.15.
  • In N.S., workers with fewer than three months experience — wages increased from $9.50 to $9.65.

This is the third time in the last year that minimum wage has increased on the Island. Last October it went up 30 cents.

Faye Martin, director of labour and industrial relations for the P.E.I. government, said the wage was gradually increased so that businesses could adjust to the change.

Campbell Webster owns Timothy's World Coffee shop in Charlottetown.

He said despite having to pay his employees more, the rise in minimum wage is good for his business.

More money in the pockets of Islanders means there is more money being spent at his café, he said.

For months, the New Brunswick government studied whether to implement a two-tiered minimum wage for workers who earn tips, but rejected the idea in February.

The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association had been lobbying for the two-tier system, saying increases in the  minimum wage would hurt small businesses.

However, opponents argued it was unreasonable to consider tips when discussing minimum wage because it would mean asking customers to subsidizing the workforce.

Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia pay different minimum wages to people who collect tips.

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