What Manitoba's minimum wage will be increasing to this fall

Published Aug. 18, 2022 1:53 p.m. ET
Updated Aug. 18, 2022 4:04 p.m. ET

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Manitoba's minimum wage is going up this fall.

On Thursday, the province announced minimum wage would be increasing from $11.95 per hour to $13.50 as of October of this year.

This increase will leave Manitoba with the second-lowest minimum wage in the country, according to the Retail Council of Canada – followed by Saskatchewan's expected increase to $13 per hour.

Nunavut currently has the highest minimum wage, which is set at $16 an hour, followed by Yukon ($15.70) and B.C. ($15.65).

The province said another increase of 65 cents is expected in Manitoba on April 1, 2023, bringing the minimum wage to $14.15 per hour.

The province said with the expected consumer price index increase for 2022, the next indexed adjustment will then bring Manitoba's minimum wage to 'around' $15 an hour for Oct. 1, 2023.

"We intend to get to the $15 range. We don't know what inflation is going to be for the next year," said Reg Helwer, Manitoba's minister of labour, consumer protection and government services.

Following this increase, the province said it will return to the indexed process.

WAGE INCREASE WILL FALL SHORT OF WHAT FAMILIES NEED, MFL PRESIDENT SAYS

This increase, however, is far below what Manitoba Federation of Labour (MFL) President Kevin Rebeck said his organization was advocating for – a minimum wage of $16.15.

"The planned minimum wage of $13.50 this year will fall well short of what working families need to make ends meet," he said in a statement. "All working families are concerned about the crushing increases in the cost of living with the price jump at the gas pumps and the grocery stores hitting low-wage workers particularly hard."

Rebeck accused the province of siding with employers.

Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson said additional increases to the minimum wage could, "create pressure on small businesses and their operations."

"We believe the correction we are announcing today in the minimum wage is a move in the right direction," Stefanson said.

"Labour is always going to be on one side, management is going to be on the other. We believe that this is a fair and balanced approach to getting to where we think is a competitive place across the country."

Cliff Cullen, Manitoba's Minister of Economic Development, Investment and Trade, said the province will be consulting with the industry about potential support programs for businesses that need help adjusting to higher payrolls.

"We recognize this wage increase may create challenges and we want to avoid unintended consequences that might result in higher prices," Cullen said.

Correction:

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated Nova Scotia's minimum wage would be $13.35 as of Oct. 1, 2022. However it will actually be increasing to $13.60, leaving Manitoba with the second lowest minimum wage at that time.


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