Minimum wage earners in all three Prairie provinces as well as in Ontario and Newfoundland are getting a pay hike.
Starting Thursday, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are raising the minimum wage employers must pay their workers.
The new minimum wage in Alberta will be $11.20 per hour, up from $10.20, while the liquor server wage goes to $10.70 per hour from $9.20.
The NDP government says it’s a first step toward a $15 minimum wage by 2018.
In Saskatchewan, minimum wage is going up by 30 cents to $10.50 an hour.
Manitoba is also increasing its minimum wage by 30 cents to $11 an hour.
Alberta Wildrose jobs critic Grant Hunter criticized the wage hike, saying it will hurt business owners at a time when the economy is not doing well.
“Wildrose has repeatedly asked the government to consider who they are really going to affect with this hike. We are concerned about those it is intended to help the most: Alberta’s youth, non-profits and our province’s most vulnerable,” Hunter said in a news release.
The Alberta Federation of Labour praised the hike, saying it’s long overdue.
“This increase to the minimum wage won’t make the sky fall. It won’t cause businesses to grind to a halt. What it will do is just one thing: it will make life better for Alberta’s lowest-paid workers,” said Siobhan Vipond, the federation’s acting treasurer.