The Manitoba government is now considering raising minimum wage further than the original $0.45/hr that it announced earlier this month.
The province says it will consult with business and labour groups before deciding on an exact figure for a higher minimum wage. At the beginning of May, the province announced it would be raising it from $11.95/hr to $12.35/hr in October.
The province adjusts the minimum wage every October 1st to match the inflation rate from the previous year. This year's announcement meant Manitoba would have had the lowest minimum wage in the country. Saskatchewan has announced it will raise its minimum to $13/hr in October, and to $15/hr two years after that.
But Labour Minister Reg Helwer has introduced a bill that would give the Progressive Conservative cabinet authority to impose a higher wage increase when inflation in the current year is running above five per cent. The annual inflation rate hit 5.7 per cent in February this year. Gas prices have soared and in some areas hit an all time high, having many Canadians trying to save where they can.
The Manitoba Federation of Labour says it welcomes the consultation and is looking for a minimum wage of 16-dollars an hour to start.
- WIth files from the Canadian Press