Saskatchewan increases minimum wage to $14 an hour, remains lowest in country

The minimum wage in Saskatchewan has increased to $14 an hour.

The Government of Saskatchewan announced in May 2022, that the minimum wage in the province would be incrementally increased over the coming two years. Next year, the minimum wage is set to rise to $15 an hour.

Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Don McMorris said minimum wage is just one of the many mechanisms used to take care of Saskatchewan workers and create more prosperity for everyone

“Other supports to assist minimum wage earners include the basic personal tax exemption, child tax credit and the Saskatchewan Low-Income Tax Credit.”

Despite the increase, Saskatchewan’s minimum wage still sits the lowest in the country.

The Saskatchewan Office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives calculates that a family of four would require a living wage of $17.80 per hour for Regina and $18.95 per hour for Saskatoon to maintain a decent standard of living in each respective city.

The living wage reflects what people need to support their families based on the actual costs of living in a specific community.

The centre says the government’s target minimum wage rate of $15 per hour by 2024 will have already been inadequate in 2021.

The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour was also critical of the government’s increase.

“No one should work full time and live in poverty, but it’s a sad reality for thousands of Saskatchewan breadwinners just trying to provide for their families,” said SFL President Lori Johb. “We are calling on the government to implement a $15 minimum wage now instead of next year. Workers can’t afford to wait.”

Johb also noted the 022 Living Wage report published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives echoes the SFL’s concerns.

“The government must raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour now, and then make a plan to tie the minimum wage to the cost of living,” Johb said. “Saskatchewan has both the worst economy and worst minimum wage in the country, and that’s no coincidence.”

Official Opposition Leader Carla Beck said any wage increase is good, as every bit helps, but believes it won’t be enough.

“Does it address the fact that we have five times the national averages of mortgages and arrears in the province or the number of people working full-time and using the food bank, I don’t think that is going to impact that.”

More from 620 CKRM