Local group asking for minimum wage raise
Instead of grabbing coffee at two local Tim Horton’s, one local group was grabbing signatures.
The group was set up outside the Tim Horton’s at the University of Regina and the Cornwall Centre Friday. It was collecting signatures for a petition, urging the Saskatchewan government to increase the province’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.
“I just know personally how hard it is to get by, how hard it is to save money and move your life forward,” says Nick Day, a volunteer and organizer of the petition.
Nicholas McIvor added his name to the list.
“It’s hard to pay for everything if you’re going to school,” says McIvor. “Having to survive practically every single day – food’s expensive, life’s expensive.”
Other demonstrations on this issue took place across Canada Friday. They were prompted by recent backlash against Ontario Tim Horton’s franchisees who rollbacked employee benefits to support a $14 an hour minimum wage increase. That came into effect January 1, and now ranks Ontario’s minimum wage highest in the country.
Saskatchewan’s minimum wage is currently $10.96 per hour, which is the second lowest in the country, behind Nova Scotia at $10.85 per hour.
In Saskatchewan, the minimum wage is increased every October 1, and the change is based on the consumer price index and the average hourly wage.
“Prior to changing the minimum wage, it is important to analyze the impact that change will have on minimum wage earners as well as the economy,” says the Government of Saskatchewan in a written statement.
“According to the Bank of Canada, minimum wage increases across Canada this year, including increases to $15 in Alberta and Ontario will cost 60,000 jobs by 2019.”
But Day remains hopeful this Canada-wide movement will help get Saskatchewan’s minimum wage to where he thinks it should be.
“When I heard about what was going on in Ontario and saw how many people support it and what was possible in Ontario as well as Alberta, I thought it could happen in Saskatchewan, too,” says Day.
The group will present the petition to the province in the near future.