November 2nd, 2023
Green MLA calls on Government to Increase Minimum Wage to a Living Wage
FREDERICTON – Green MLA for Kent North, Kevin Arseneau today presented a motion urging the government to increase the minimum wage so that it is equal to a livable wage. At $14.75 per hour, New Brunswick’s minimum wage is the lowest in Atlantic Canada and the second lowest in Canada.
“New Brunswickers are struggling with an escalating affordability crisis that has seen skyrocketing prices for essentials, including food, housing, medication, heating oil and gas,” said Arseneau. “People shouldn’t have to work multiple jobs just to make ends meet.”
The Human Development Council calculates living wages in New Brunswick by investigating the real-life and real-time costs of living. It found that in 2022 Fredericton’s living wage was $23.45, Saint John’s was $21.60, Moncton’s was $20.85 and Bathurst’s was $19.20.
Arseneau’s motion also calls on the government to create a program to financially support employers as a result of increased costs associated with the higher minimum wage.
“For years, the government has subsidized large corporations for millions of dollars. Meanwhile small and medium businesses are having difficulty attracting and retaining employees,” added Arseneau. “The government should step up to support them to transition to paying living wages, rather than subsidize multimillion-dollar profit corporations.”