PEI

Political youth groups on P.E.I. collaborating on minimum wage survey

There has been a lot of talk of collaboration since the PC government was elected on P.E.I. back in April and now some politically affiliated youth groups are collaborating themselves on a minimum wage survey.

Plans to compile data and present to P.E.I. government

President of the P.E.I. Young Greens Sarah Donald says she is hoping to see at least a few dollars added to minimum wage to get it to $15 an hour. (Kerry Campbell/CBC)

There has been a lot of talk of collaboration since the PC government was elected on P.E.I. back in April, and now some politically affiliated youth groups are collaborating themselves on a minimum wage survey.

The online survey is being put together by the Young Greens, Young Liberals and the NDP Youth. 

Sarah Donald, president of P.E.I's Young Greens, said she was approached by the president of the Young Liberals to collaborate on a minimum wage survey.

"We're hoping to compile a report based on our survey data to be presented on minimum wage," she said.

The online survey will feature opinion as well a "statistical questions," Donald said.

"Do you agree that minimum wage should increase or do you believe it should be decreased?" is one of the questions, Donald said. The survey also asks what income level people are at, she said.

Youth stuck with low wage

She said the three groups came together because the minimum wage is a serious issue for young people.

P.E.I.'s average hourly wage rate was $22.44 in May of 2019 according to Statistics Canada.

We still have to live and eat and things like that.— Sarah Donald, Young Greens

However, the minimum wage on the Island is $12.25 and that is what a lot of young Islanders get paid, Donald said.

"I think as young people, you know, that are oftentimes just starting out our careers, we tend to fill those lower paid positions," she said.

"We still have to live and eat and things like that."

She said those young people are also trying to live on their own and sustain themselves.

It does workout to a better living wage that would increase the standard of living.— Sarah Donald, Young Greens

The average median income adjusted for tax on P.E.I. in 2017 was $47,470, according to Statistics Canada.

"If you are working at our current minimum wage for full time 40 hours a week, you are making around half of that and I mean that generally impacts youth," Donald said.

$15 ask

Donald said she is hoping to see at least a few dollars added to minimum wage to get it to $15 an hour.

"It does workout to a better living wage that would increase the standard of living. It's been done in other provinces like in Alberta," Donald said.

She said increasing minimum wage can help stimulate the economy by increasing how much money people are spending.

The anonymous online survey went live Thursday at 6 p.m. and shuts down Aug. 23 at 4 p.m. It can be found through the P.E.I. Young Greens Facebook page.

"The government is actually accepting submissions until Aug. 30, kind of anyone's thoughts on minimum wage. So we are hoping to compile data and give our report to them," Donald said.

The Young Greens, Young Liberals and Youth NDP collaborated on the survey.

A spokesperson with the PC government said the Young Conservatives are not an organization at this time, but the program is being revamped.

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About the Author

Tony Davis grew up on P.E.I. and studied journalism at Holland College. He can be contacted at anthony.davis@cbc.ca

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