From May 1, 2023: Quebec raises minimum wage to .25

From May 1, 2023: Quebec raises minimum wage to $15.25

The minimum wage will be increased by a dollar next May 1 to $15.25 an hour, a “responsible” increase according to Minister Jean Boulet but insufficient in the eyes of several groups.

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This 7.02% increase, the largest since 1995, is a “responsible and balanced gesture” that should both improve the purchasing power of low-income people and respect the solvency of small businesses, the labor minister argued during a news conference at the National Assembly on Wednesday.

“Our minimum wage must be respectful and compatible with our economic situation,” Mr Boulet explained, adding that this increase will allow the government to maintain its target of a 50% ratio between the general minimum wage rate and the average salary.

For their part, employees who are paid with tips will see their wages increase by $0.80 to $12.20 per hour.

For employees who exclusively pick raspberries or strawberries, the minimum wage would be $4.53 (+$0.30) and $1.21 (+$0.08) per kilogram, respectively.

Insufficient

Although this is the largest minimum wage increase since 1995, several groups see it as insufficient. The collective for a Québec without poverty accuses the government of “lack of reality” and sees in this increase a “form of contempt for the reality of the workers”.

“In 2016, we charged $15 an hour. How can you believe that 6 years later it is enough to live with dignity,” said the President of the Democratic Union Headquarters, Luc Vachon.

Opposition parties condemned the measure because of the inflationary context, which they felt would have justified a larger increase.

“It’s a step forward, but it’s not enough to catch up with the inflation Quebec is currently experiencing,” Liberal MP Madwa-Nika Cadet said.

“It takes at least $18 an hour to live with dignity in Quebec,” Solidarity MP Alexandre Leduc said.

“It will never be perfect,” said Jean Boulet. But it takes time [augmenter le salaire minimum] progressive to avoid negative consequences.

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“It’s a step forward, but it’s not enough to catch up with the inflation Quebec is currently experiencing,” Liberal MP Madwa-Nika Cadet said.

“It takes at least $18 an hour to live with dignity in Quebec,” Solidarity MP Alexandre Leduc said.

“It will never be perfect,” said Jean Boulet. But it takes time [augmenter le salaire minimum] progressive to avoid negative consequences.

Small businesses

According to Jean Boulet, a higher hike could have forced small businesses already hit by the rate hike to lay off employees. On the contrary, Quebec claims that a minimum wage of $15.25 per hour will encourage labor market participation in the face of labor shortages.

While acknowledging that the increase announced by the government is “reasonable given the circumstances”, other groups are concerned about the impact this measure will have on several sectors of activity that risk “difficulty integrating this increase in labor costs”. , said the chairman of the employers’ council, Karl Blackburn.

“It is also to be expected that this will unfortunately be reflected in the prices of the services and products available,” he added.

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