The government of New Brunswick announced that it will be raising the province’s minimum wage to $10.65 on April 1, 2016. This will be followed by an increase to $11.00 per hour by 2017. Following the increase to $11.00, all future minimum wage increases will be based on the rate of inflation.

Objective:

Minimum wage changes should be based on the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the previous year.

Current Status:

New Brunswick’s current minimum wage rate is $10.30 per hour, which is the lowest in Canada.

The announcement takes another step towards the fulfillment of a promise for an $11.00 per hour minimum wage made by the Liberal government during the last election campaign. As this was a campaign promise, the government has not consulted with industry stakeholders on minimum wage issues since taking office.

Background:

Nova Scotia’s minimum wage currently sits at $10.60 per hour but will increase by CPI in April 2016. Prince Edward Island’s minimum wage is $10.50 but will undergo two increases in 2016, which will bring the wage to $11.00 per hour.

RCC met with New Brunswick’s Liberal Leader Brian Gallant on this issue while he was Leader of the Opposition. At the time, he was interested in RCC’s position that minimum wage increases should only be based on the previous year’s increase in CPI.

RCC has already been successful in convincing the Nova Scotia government to base its minimum wage increases on the previous year’s increase in CPI. RCC uses the Nova Scotia model as a positive example of how other provinces should determine their minimum wage.

Next Steps:

RCC will continue to push for predictable minimum wage increases based on the rate of inflation, which allows for predictability and depoliticizes any such decision.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact: Jim Cormier, Director (Atlantic) at:  jcormier@retailcouncil.org or 902-422-4144