An opposition party wants the Quebec minimum wage to go up even more. Québec Solidaire (QS) spokesperson Manon Massé says that all workers deserve $15/hour. To support and reshape the economy to its fullest potential, QS says there's an urgency to adequately compensate minimum wage workers who have been deemed essential throughout the ongoing health crisis.
Even with the planned increase to the provincial minimum wage to $13.10 on May 1, 2020, Massé says that workers will still make less than $2,000 a month.
"Quebec has realized in the past few weeks just how essential workers paid at minimum wage are to the functioning of our society," said Massé.
"However, the government insists on keeping the May 1 minimum wage increase to $13.10."
"Those whom François Legault calls the guardian angels want more than thanks in times of crisis: they want a decent salary year-round."
Québec Solidaire has also proposed a plan to "help businesses cope" with the wage increase, asking the government to "implement transitional measures to provide financial support to [small and medium-sized enterprises], community organizations, and the agricultural sector."
"These measures," the party claims, "would be largely offset by the $830 million or so in tax benefits that the increase in the minimum wage would bring annually to the Quebec government."
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Quebec's economy will need some time to recover after the crisis, but according to Quebec Solidaire, an increased minimum wage can help stimulate the economy to prosper with increased purchasing power for consumers.
"Workers and small businesses need state support to get everyone out of the crisis and raising minimum wages will not only benefit workers but also [businesses], who will be able to count on greater purchasing power for consumers," added Alexandre Leduc, MP for Hochelaga-Maisonneuve.
Massé underlined that without a living wage, it would be difficult for consumers to turn to local products to stimulate the economy.
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Québec Solidaire has proposed three transitional measures to help businesses face a $15/hour minimum wage:
"Special financial assistance of $60 million per year, for a period of 5 years, which will offer direct subsidies to businesses most affected by the increase in the minimum wage;"
"Create special financial assistance of $30 million per year, for a period of five years, for the agricultural sector:"
and "increase funding by community organizations, NPOs and charities by $30 million per year to offset this increase. This funding will be renewed after five years, unlike the other two measures."
"We must offer better purchasing power to the lowest-paid workers. These people are not going to put their money in tax havens: they are going to inject it directly into our economy, and that is all of Quebec that will benefit from it after the crisis," said Massé.
This article's cover image is used for illustrative purposes only.