(crossposted to CanadaEast)
I wanted to take a moment to applaud the announcement today that the minimum wage will go up another 50¢ to $7.75. This is a significant move and it is the third hike since the Liberals took office. The minimum wage has increased $1.05 since the 2006 election.
This is a fairly substantial demand to make on small business owners. In fact, $1.05 in extra wages costs a small business owner with 5 FTEs $11,000 per year. Certainly not chump change. However, an increase in the minimum wage inevitably drives up other wages via a domino effect. That is good for all New Brunswickers and for New Brunswick, given the aim to retain and return people to our work force.
I remember in 2002 Paul Duffie was running for leader of the Liberals, and proposed the minimum wage be raised to $8 by the end of 2007. There were cries from within the party that this would destroy small businesses, a concern which was echoed by the media and the business sector itself. Regardless, it seems that this lofty goal is about to be met, and that is a great thing for our province. As of June 2006, New Brunswick had the lowest minimum wage in Canada. A year and a half later we've moved from 13th to 10th and are on the cusp of surpassing the 6 provinces that have minimum wages at $7.95 or $8.00.
I hope the government continues to move forward with this aggressive trend and pushes the minimum wage past $8 in the not too distant future.
Finally, on an unrelated matter, when I logged in to post this, I discovered that this will be my 300th post. A bit of a milestone and a good reason for me to thank all of you for reading and commenting and making this such a fun and rewarding exercise.