Minimum Wage, Maximum Wager in Alberta

Alberta, more than any other province in the country, has endured a period of fiscal pain unlike any time in its history.  Precipitous drops in oil prices mean lower revenues for both resource companies and government.  Rather than hunker down and retreat, the province has boldly proceeded with its promise to bring in a $15 minimum wage.  It will increase the minimum wage in three incremental steps in October 2016, 2017 and 2018.  At first glance, this announcement may seem wrong-headed in such a tough economic climate.  But the province recognized that there is clearly something wrong with the equation in which minimum-wage, full-time work equals desperate poverty.  Alberta has made the correct choice: to tip the scales in favour of working-poor households.

Publication Date: 
Caledon Institute of Social Policy
Ottawa, ON, Canada