Alberta’s New Democratic Party (NDP) government is moving forward on its 2015 campaign promise to raise minimum wage to $15-per-hour by 2018. The raise to $15-per-hour is being applied incrementally. On October 1, 2015, Alberta’s minimum wage rose from $10.20 to $11.20. For those who serve liquor, the minimum wage rose from $9.20 to $10.70. The next wage increase is scheduled for October, 2016 and will increase the minimum wage by $1 to $12.20-per-hour. The following two increases will occur in October 2017 and 2018.
The upcoming minimum wage increase will apply to employees in almost every industry, including the liquor service industry (thus eliminating the minimum wage differential for those who serve liquor). However, certain employees will remain exempt from the minimum wage requirement. Those employees include but are not limited to real estate brokers, farm employees, and insurance sales persons.
The raise to $15-per-hour will make Alberta’s minimum wage the highest in the country. The raise will also reduce the income gap and bring Alberta in line with Ontario and Quebec.
Written with the assistance of Hannah Buckley, summer student.