"This increase is another way the Williams Government is improving the quality of life of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and making our province more competitive with respect to attracting talent,” said the Honourable Susan Sullivan, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment. “With this 50 cent increase, Newfoundland and Labrador will have the second highest provincial minimum wage in the country, behind Ontario.”
The current series of increases began on January 1, 2009, with minimum wage increasing by 50 cent increments every six months. This approach to carrying out the increases balanced the desire to raise the minimum wage with employers’ ability to prepare for the increases.
As of July 1, 2010 the minimum wage will have increased by approximately 67 per cent over a five-year period.
As with previous changes to the minimum wage, any future changes will be considered in collaboration with employers and workers. Legislation requires that the provincial minimum wage be reviewed every two years from the latest change.
“The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour is pleased to see that the Provincial Government has met its commitment and implemented its proposed increases to the minimum wage,” said Lana Payne, President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour. “As the voice of labour within the province, our federation understands the importance of improving earned incomes. These increases have certainly helped, along with other measures, to improve the well being of low-waged workers in our province. There is no doubt that thousands of workers and their families have benefited and our federation looks forward to collaborating in future with government on other initiatives to help lower- income earners.”
Minimum wage increases are complementary to the Provincial Government’s efforts to reduce poverty in Newfoundland and Labrador. Through the Poverty Reduction Strategy, the Provincial Government is working towards transforming Newfoundland and Labrador from being a province with one of the highest poverty rates in Canada to being the one with the lowest.
“Increases to the minimum wage rate play a key role in advancing our government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy,” added Minister Sullivan. “Increasing the minimum wage helps individuals and families achieve increased self-reliance and contributes to a stronger provincial economy. Reducing poverty aims to balance opportunity for all.”