P.E.I. minimum wage increasing to $13.70

·2 min read
Minimum wage will soon increase from $13.00 to $13.70 per hour.  ( - image credit)
Minimum wage will soon increase from $13.00 to $13.70 per hour. ( - image credit)

The minimum wage on P.E.I. will be increasing 70 cents to $13.70 per hour starting April 1, 2022.

Premier Dennis King announced the news in the P.E.I. Legislature on Wednesday.

"For too long, we have built this Island as a place to do things cheaply. I think we paid a price for that over the years," he said.

"We need to make sure that this province is the most competitive that it can be. Part of that competitive advantage is utilizing that great asset of our people and making sure they're compensated fairly."

The minimum wage is reviewed annually by the Employment Standards Board, which then provides recommendations to the government.

The board looks "at all sorts of things — inflation, the cost of housing, the cost of goods, food and so fourth," said Matthew MacKay, the minister of economic growth and tourism.

"Obviously the cost of living is a concern, housing is another, there's a big labour shortage on Prince Edward Island as well .... So that was obviously taken into factor."

'It's not enough'

Governments across the country have faced criticism that the designated minimum wage isn't actually enough to live on.

Rick Gibbs/ CBC News
Rick Gibbs/ CBC News

"I think government acknowledges that it's not enough, but at the same time we have to find a path forward that is going to work for everyone," said MacKay.

"There's not a magic solution for it. We have businesses that are barely surviving now."

MacKay said he is calling on his department to find out just how many Islanders are currently surviving on that salary.

"It's a bit of a challenge to get that number," he said. "I'm curious. We've seen through COVID that a lot of the wages have gone up and employers have found it hard to find anybody."

Minimum wage did also climb 70 cents back in 2018. But last year, pay in the province jumped 15 cents. It was the second year in a row minimum wage was increased by the lowest legally-allowable amount.

"It's certainly up from last year," said MacKay. "It's a significant increase and hopefully it will help."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting