List of minimum wages in Canada

List of minimum wages in Canada

Under the Constitution of Canada, the responsibility for enacting and enforcing labour laws, including minimum wages in Canada, rests with the ten provinces as well as the three territories also having been granted this power by virtue of federal legislation. This means that each province and territory has its own minimum wage. The lowest general minimum wages currently in force is that of Yukon Territory ($9.00/hour) and the highest is that of Nunavut ($11.00/hour). Some provinces allow lower wages to be paid to liquor servers and other tip earners, and/or to inexperienced employees. The Employment Standards Act of British Columbia had formerly allowed employers to pay as little as $6/hour to new workers with less than 500 hours of work experience[1] (about three months of full-time employment, six months half-time, or one year quarter-time). For those in the Yukon, the minimum wage rate applies to employees who are 17 years of age or over.

The federal government in years past has set its own minimum wage rates for workers in federal jurisdiction industries (railways for example). In 1996, however, the federal minimum wage was re-defined to be the general adult minimum wage rate of the province or territory where the work is performed. This means, for example, that a railway company could not legally pay a worker in British Columbia less than $9.50/hour regardless of the worker's experience.

This list of minimum wages in Canada collects the minimum wages in Canadian dollars (CAD) set by each province and territory of Canada. Assuming a 40-hour work week for 4.34 weeks a month, the monthly gross incomes of individuals earning the lowest and highest minimum wages in Canada are $1345 and $1519, respectively. Based on current exchange rates, Canadian minimum wages in every jurisdiction are higher than the U.S. federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour; however, critics of current minimum wage levels in Canada often claim that they are insufficient and advocate that they be raised to what they claim to be the living wage. The federal New Democratic Party had called for a separate federal minimum wage of $10/hour,[2] although as mentioned above, such a change could not be enforced on any employer operating under provincial jurisdiction (unless the province voluntarily agreed to harmonize its own minimum wage). On October 1, 2009, M.P. Irene Mathyssen introduced a private member's bill (C-448) to amend the Canada Labour Code with regard to the minimum wage and have the federal minimum wage set to $12/hr.[3]

The following table is a list of hourly minimum wages for adult workers in Canada. The provinces which have their minimum wages in bold allow for lower wages under circumstances which are described under the "Comments" heading.

Note: The following table can be sorted by Jurisdiction, Wage, or Effective date using the Sort none.gif icon.

Jurisdiction Wage (C$/h) Effective date Comments
Alberta[4] 9.40 2011.09.01Sept. 1, 2011 $9.05 for liquor servers. Any further increases will be set on a yearly basis using the Consumer Price Index as well as average weekly earnings in Alberta.[5]
British Columbia 9.50 2011.11.01 Nov. 1, 2011 $8.75 for liquor servers ($9.00 on next increase)
The minimum wage will increase to $10.25 on May 1, 2012. The "First Job/Entry Level" minimum wage category of $6.00 was eliminated on May 1, 2011.[6]
Manitoba 10.00 2011.10.01Oct. 1, 2011 Workers involved in construction have a minimum wage starting at $12.60.[7]
New Brunswick 9.50 2011.04.01Apr. 1, 2011 Expected to increase to $10.00 on April 1, 2012[8]
Newfoundland and Labrador 10.00 2010.07.01Jul. 1, 2010
Northwest Territories 10.00 2011.04.01Apr. 1, 2011
Nova Scotia 10.00 2011.10.01Oct. 1, 2011 $9.50 for inexperienced workers (less than three months employed in the type of work they are hired to do).[9]
Nunavut[10] 11.00 2011.01.01Jan. 1, 2011 Currently the highest in Canada.
Ontario 10.25 2010.03.31Mar. 31, 2010
  • Students (under age 18, working 28 hours or under per week while school is in session or work when there is a school break): $9.60
  • Liquor servers: $8.90.
  • Homeworkers (includes students and overrides the student wage): $11.28
Prince Edward Island[11] 9.60 2011.10.01Oct. 1, 2011 Set to increase to $10.00 per hour effective April 1, 2012.[12]
Quebec[13] 9.65 2011.05.01<May 1, 2011 Workers receiving gratuities receive $8.35.
Saskatchewan[14] 9.50 2011.09.01Sept. 1, 2011
Yukon 9.00 2011.04.01Apr. 1, 2011 Currently the lowest in Canada
Yukon currently pegs annual increases (every April 1) to its minimum wage using the Consumer Price Index.[15][16]

See also


  1. ^ Queen's Printer of British Columbia (June 1, 2009). "Employment Standards Act - Employment Standards Regulation". Retrieved Oct. 4, 2009. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "Introducing C-448, a Federal Minimum Wage". 2009-10-01. Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  4. ^ "Alberta's Minimum Wage". 2011-09-01. Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  5. ^ "Alta. minimum wage goes up Sept. 1". CBC News. 1 June 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2011. 
  6. ^ "Clark increases B.C. minimum wage after decade-long freeze". Retrieved 2011-03-16. 
  7. ^ Construction Industry Minimum Wage Regulation, amendment
  8. ^ "Minimum wage reversal splits opinion - New Brunswick - CBC News". 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2011-09-03. 
  9. ^ "Minimum Wage to Increase Oct. 1". Government of Nova Scotia, Department of Labour and Advanced Education. 2011-05-10. Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
  10. ^ "Nunavut minimum wage increase effective January 1, 2011". Government of Nunavut. 2010-12-13. Retrieved 2010-10-10. 
  11. ^ "Community Services, Seniors and Labour: Minimum Wage (History)". Retrieved 2010-05-09. 
  12. ^ "The Government of Prince Edward Island". Retrieved 2011-02-28. 
  13. ^ "Quebec to increase minimum wage to $9.65 per hour - CTV News". Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  14. ^ "Labour Relations and Workplace Safety". 2010-06-29. Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  15. ^ "CBC News In Depth: Economy". CBC News. 
  16. ^ "Minimum Wage and Minimum Wage Regulation - Department of Community Services- Government of Yukon". 2010-01-20. Retrieved 2011-03-02. 

External links

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