Blog | September 02, 2011

Advocacy group says even with hike, minimum wage is not enough to survive on in Alberta

By Remo Zaccagna, Herald-Tribune staffAlberta raised its minimum wage on Thursday, but a provincial advocacy group says that is not enough for low-income workers to live on, particularly in the Peace Country.A two-tiered system was introduced on Sept. 1. The minimum wage increased from $8.80 to $9.40 per hour, but wages for servers of liquor start at $9.05, with the government expecting tips to make up the differenceHowever, Public Interest Alberta said that even with the increase, Alberta would have the lowest minimum wage in Canada after British Columbia and P.E.I. increase theirs on Nov. 1.And they said the new minimum wage is not enough for Albertans to support themselves.The group cited Statistics Canada figures that showed that 14,800 people, or 14.2%, of the 104,200 people employed in the Athabasca-Grande Prairie region as earning $12 or less per hour as of March of this year. That's more than the provincial average of 13.9%."The big thing is that the minimum wage is not a living wage. People cannot live in the Grande Prairie Peace region for $9.40 and survive. They can't, it's not viable," said Heather Haiste, the Grande Prairie community mobilizer for Public Interest Alberta.For the full story, click here -

The Grande Prairie – Peace River Region Low Wage Fact Sheet is available online at -