Following years of advocacy from Retail Council of Canada (RCC), the government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced that it will be raising the province’s minimum wage from $11.00 to $11.15 on April 1, 2018. The government announced that it will be joining its Atlantic Provincial neighbours in mandating April 1st as the date for all future increases to minimum wage. Following this increase, the government will keep its campaign promise that all future minimum wage increases will be tied to changes in the Consumer Price Index for the previous year. Although the government has not enshrined this commitment in legislation, RCC has applauded the government for keeping its promise.
Once Newfoundland and Labrador makes this change, it will join Nova Scotia and New Brunswick as Atlantic Provinces that mandate minimum wage increases based on the previous year’s increase in CPI.
The RCC national position is that minimum wage changes should be based on the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the previous year.
As part of a growing initiative for greater harmonization, the Atlantic provinces have spent the past four years working on successful initiatives like a harmonized date for minimum wage changes.
RCC has commended this approach but continues to be very specific in its call for the governments of New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador to legislate their commitment for minimum wage increases to be based on the previous year’s increase in CPI.
Atlantic premiers have also recently committed to looking at options for harmonizing the actual minimum wage across the Atlantic region.