Skip to main content

Manitoba to bring in bill to increase minimum wage


The Stefanson Government could hike minimum wage this year beyond the preset rate.

Manitoba raises minimum wage based on the previous year’s inflation rate. So it is set to increase from $11.95 an hour to $12.35 in October. But Manitoba will be last in the country when Saskatchewan hikes its minimum wage to $13 later this year.

With inflation and the cost of living skyrocketing now, the province could be looking at a larger bump this October.

“We recognize that we need to move forward … to make sure our minimum wage is competitive across the country,” said Premier Heather Stefanson. The province introduced legislation allowing cabinet to raise minimum wage above the normal rate if inflation exceeds five per cent in the first three months of the year.

But how much more the wage could go up is unclear. Labour Minister Reg Helwer said the province wants feedback from business and labour groups before making any decisions.

“We tend to … follow other provinces, sometimes we lead other provinces but we’re going to listen to those consultations to determine where we go on this,” said Helwer. Too large of a hike could be hard for businesses. Kathleen Cook from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business said small businesses are still recovering from pandemic lockdowns.

“Many of them have taken on significant debt to get through the pandemic and they’re feeling squeezed by inflation too,” said Cook, “So our number one message to governments this year is no new costs.”

Anti-poverty advocates and others have been arguing for a $15 an hour minimum wage for years.

Jessica Boyle said it can be done.

“I came from Alberta and Alberta is at $15 an hour and that’s more reasonable for minimum wage,” said Boyle. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business said if a larger minimum wage hike is put in place, the province could look at helping small businesses with offsets like a fuel tax cut or wage subsidies. Top Stories

Stay Connected