WINNIPEG — Manitoba was set to have the lowest minimum wage rate in Canada this fall, but the Stefanson government has introduced measures ensuring that won’t be the case.
Bill 44, the Employment Standards Code amendment act (minimum wage), was introduced in the Manitoba legislature Monday, which would allow larger increases to the province’s minimum wage.
Currently, the minimum wage in Manitoba is set to increase by 40 cents to $12.35 on October 1. Any increases authorized by cabinet would come into effect on or after that date.
Annual minimum wage increases are indexed to inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index, but with costs of all goods and services increasing at a much faster pace, Canadian provinces are taking additional action.
At a meeting of western premiers in Regina, Premier Heather Stefanson said Manitoba has fallen behind other provinces and is going to take steps to address that.
Saskatchewan recently announced an increase to its minimum wage for the fall, which would leave Manitoba with the lowest minimum wage in the country.
Saskatchewan is raising its minimum to $13 an hour this fall and to $15 in 2024.
“This change would provide much-needed support to hard-working Manitobans who have been burdened by soaring cost-of-living increases,” said Labour, Consumer Protection and Government Services Minister Reg Helwer.
“Manitobans have worked tirelessly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and this legislation would relieve some of the financial strain they are experiencing due to rising food and fuel prices.”
— With files from The Canadian Press