Skip to main content

Alberta minimum wage lagging behind other provinces


According to the Retail Council of Canada Alberta has the third lowest minimum wage in the country -- and some say it's time to bump it up.

Alberta's present minimum wage of  $15 an hour matches that of Newfoundland and Labradour, PEI, and Nova Scotia. In B.C., it's $16.75 and in Ontario, it's $16.55.

The only province with a lower minimum wage is Saskatchewan, at $14.00 and New Brunswick at $14.75.

One economy and labour expert believes the province’s wage floor needs to rise to be better aligned with the living wages in the Alberta.

“If you look at what the Alberta Living Wage Network says about what a living wage would be in Fort McMurray is $24 an hour, Edmonton $20 to $23 similar figure in Calgary,” said Paul Kellog, a professor in political science, economy and labour at Athabasca University.

“Alberta is a very rich province (and) we can actually afford this.”

According to Kellog, as minimum wages increase, there should be support for small businesses to support them.

“A reasonable proposal would be to match increases in the minimum wage with increases of support to small business so that they can deal with this kind of economic issue and other economic issues.”


Akidad Sangaj is an international student at SAIT taking business classes who also works part time at a warehouse.

“It’s really tough in the time being as the inflation has really escalated. I don’t think at $15 somebody can survive,” she said.

For employers, adjusting to an increased minimum wage would cut into their bottom line. Matthew Osman owns Euphoria Cafe and currently pays his staff “as close as possible to a living wage” of approximately $18 an hour.

“Paying them close to a living wage is already hard on me,” said Osman. “It will hurt business but you will somehow have to adapt.” Top Stories

Stay Connected