For immediate release
Nov. 18, 2019
Minimum wage won’t reach $15 for another decade at current rate: NDP
The NDP MHA for Labrador West, Jordan Brown, has been questioning government on its management of the minimum wage review and the independence of the Minimum Wage Review Committee. Currently, Newfoundland and Labrador has the second lowest minimum wage in the country.
Last week, Brown remarked how the “Independent Chairperson” of their Minimum Wage Review Committee sits on the executive of the NL Liberal Party. “In whose best interest is appointing a high placed Liberal party insider to this committee?” Brown asked.
Today in Question Period, Brown said the Minimum Wage Review Committee members were announced just one month ago and the deadline for consultations is December 2, 2019. Brown asked the Minister to explain why government is not allowing adequate time for proper public consultations.
Brown says our province’s minimum wage is so low that, at the current rate of increase, it won’t reach $15 until the early 2030s, a decade away.
“Will the Minister instruct the Minimum Wage Review Committee to include in its report a timeline for getting to a $15 minimum wage sooner than currently projected?” Brown said.
Further to his statements during Question Period, Brown says the online questionnaire plus calling for written submissions is not adequate consultation to reach those most affected, plus the many community organizations that help low-wage families. He says government should have hearings in all regions of the province.
As for a $15 minimum wage, Brown reiterates that the NDP has been calling for government to plan for incremental increases in order to catch up and reach $15 in the next few years. Brown calls upon the Minister to instruct the Committee to include in its report a realistic timeline for getting to $15 an hour that is in keeping with other provinces, and to ensure any April 1, 2020 increase serves to close the gap between NL’s minimum wage and most of the other provinces of Canada.
“Further, will this government live up to its past commitments to transparency and proactive disclosure by committing to make the consultation data public (with identifying respondent information removed) as well make public the report of the Review Committee?” Brown said.
For further information, contact Zaren Healey White, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (o), 693-9172 (c), or firstname.lastname@example.org.