EDMONTON—The Alberta Ministry of Labour held a consultation yesterday on how it should implement its commitment to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2018. The meeting included representatives from social advocacy groups, labour unions, and business organizations.
“The government is making the right decision to keep its commitment to implement a $15 minimum wage by 2018,” said Joel French, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta, who attended the consultation. “It is an important piece of the government’s goal to reduce and eliminate poverty. It will also put more money in the pockets of workers who will spend their earnings in their communities when local economies need it the most.
”According to the Edmonton Social Planning Council and Vibrant Communities Calgary, a living wage in Alberta's two largest cities is well above $15 per hour, with Edmonton at $17.36 per hour and Calgary at $18.15 per hour.
“While the increase to $15 per hour by 2018 is a step in the right direction, it will still leave hundreds of thousands of Albertans earning less than it costs to live in Alberta’s major cities,” said French. “By then, living costs will have risen even higher than they are now. We need to ensure all working Albertans are paid fair wages to build a healthier society for the benefit of us all.”