The CAQ government is set to increase the minimum wage in Quebec in the new year, according to Jean Boulet, Minister of Labour, Employment, and Social Solidarity. The increase will take effect on May 1, 2020, coincidentally International Labour Day. Boulet announced the news on Facebook.
"I announced an increase in the minimum wage of $0.60 per hour to $13.10. This 4.8% increase will benefit 409,100 people in Quebec as of May 1, 2020," he wrote in December 2019.
After May 1, a person working minimum wage for the standard 37.5 hours could make $491.25 per week before tax, a weekly increase of $22.5.
The increase, according to a press release, "will make it possible to achieve, for the period 2020-2021, the target of a 50% ratio between the general minimum wage rate and the average hourly wage."
"The increase in the minimum wage I am proposing today will allow workers and businesses to benefit from the current economic momentum," the Minister stated.
"It will thus increase the purchasing power of employees and reduce the incidence of poverty while respecting companies' financial capacity to pay without damaging their competitiveness."
According to the CBC, this is just one step further toward an eventual minimum wage of $15/hour, a core campaign promise of Legault and his party.
The minimum wage rate for employees paid by tip will also increase, the press release explains, by 40 cents to $10.45/hour.
And, because this is Quebec, the berry powerhouse of Canada, the minimum wage for raspberry and strawberry pickers is going up, as well, to $3.89 and $1.04 per kilogram, respectively.
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The wage increase comes as the cost of living continues to rise in Montreal.
Once a bastion of affordable living, the city has recently seen an influx in investment and development that has pushed up prices across the region.
Mayor Plante is keenly aware of the issue. In January, she told MTL Blog that she doesn't want Montreal to develop the kind of inequality that plagues other North American cities.
"When I think about Toronto or Vancouver, there's pretty much only one kind of person that can afford to stay downtown."
Her focus is on developing a series of measures and powers to maintain affordable options.
"If we want to be more resilient and make sure that we can keep Montreal affordable, there has to be a toolbox. And in this toolbox, there have to be [ways] to better manage the land."
Stay tuned for more news.