Posted on Jun 29, 2016

Moving Forward towards a Living Wage

Our government has announcing three phases of minimum wage increases, beginning with a $1 raise October 1, 2016, that will move Alberta forward and provide a $15 per hour minimum wage by 2018. This announcement comes after extensive consultations with business owners, key stakeholders, and working Albertans across the province.

I am proud our government is delivering on its promise to phase in a $15 minimum wage. Every Albertan who works full-time deserves to earn enough to provide the basics for themselves and their loved ones. No one who works full-time should have to visit a food bank to feed their families. Not only is raising the minimum wage the right thing to do, it's sound economic policy.

The latest economic research supports a fair minimum wage that lifts workers out of poverty, increases consumer buying power, and provides a better standard of living. Additionally, our minimum wage simply has not increased over time to sufficiently compensate for inflation or rising income inequality. It's time we returned to fairness.

We also know that phasing in a $15 minimum wage will be a significant change for some business owners. That is why our government is working proactively to help businesses adjust to our current economic climate. For example, we reduced the small business tax rate from 3 per cent to 2 per cent and reintroduced the Summer Temporary Employment Program.

I am excited to be part of a government that is taking these responsible steps to phase in a $15 minimum wage and help create an economy that works for everyone. That's real leadership.