Last week, however, a group of Quebec anti-poverty advocacy groups, central labour bodies and unions sent out a memo announcing that $15, which they've been demanding since 2016, is no longer enough.
They are now asserting that the minimum wage "needed to lift Quebec workers out of poverty" is $18 per hour.
"It is clear that it is impossible to live decently on the current minimum wage of $13.50 per hour. Even the demand of $15.00 per hour is no longer adequate due to the rising cost of living, especially for housing and the rising cost of the grocery basket. That is why an update was necessary," the news release says.
The organizations involved came to $18 using "a variety of indicators," according to the release, such as the Low Income Measure (LIM-60), consultation with their members, interviews and a survey of low-wage earners.
These organizations include La Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec, Syndicat de professionnelles et professionnels du gouvernement du Québec and Collectif pour un Québec sans pauvreté.
Right now the minimum wage is $10.75 an hour, but starting May 1, it will go up 10 $11.25.
It might not sound like much, but 50¢ is still $20 more a week if you're working 40 hours a week. That adds up to about $1,040 a year before taxes. Not too bad when you think about it. Especially considering last time it went up by only 20¢
The announcement was made this morning at the national assembly by the employment minister.
Most of us probably didn't know it, but yesterday was International Worker's Day, and residents of Quebec actually got a pretty sweet gift for the occasion:
Thanks to an increase in the province's minimum wage, numerous workers across Quebec will now be paid more money.
Quebec's minimum wage will increase by 20 cents to reach $10.75 for every hour worked. This will result in minimum wage workers receiving $8 more for a standard 40-hour work week, as pointed out by CBC.
$10.75, however, is a far cry from the $15/hour that the Quebec Federation of Labour hope to have established as the province's standard wage. A march was held in the Plateau yesterday to raise awareness on the issue of minimum wage and the desired $15, which also marked the launch of the "Fight for 15" campaign.
But given that we're still more than four dollars off from the $15 goal, it's probably going to be a while. Still, a twenty-cent increase is better than a hole in the head, so here's to small victories.