Minimum Wage Hikes Not Effective in Reducing Poverty: Manitoba Premier

By Lambert, Steve | The Canadian Press, December 29, 2016 | Go to article overview

Minimum Wage Hikes Not Effective in Reducing Poverty: Manitoba Premier


Lambert, Steve, The Canadian Press


Manitoba premier talks minimum wage

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WINNIPEG - There is no guarantee Manitoba's frozen minimum wage will thaw in 2017, as the premier and labour leaders disagree over whether a higher minimum pay rate helps the poor.

In a year-end interview with The Canadian Press, Premier Brian Pallister said he doesn't believe a higher minimum wage is the best way to reduce poverty.

"It's a mitigation tactic that is seen on the surface to be helping but really doesn't reduce poverty," Pallister said.

"Economic growth and economic development is very critical to helping people find work. We're all about (a) hand-up."

While the previous NDP government made a habit of raising the minimum wage every October, Pallister's Progressive Conservatives kept the wage at $11.00 an hour after winning the provincial election in April.

The move has been widely criticized by labour leaders as harmful to the working poor.

"It leaves people earning minimum wage $400 worse off because of cost of living and (prices) going up," said Kevin Rebeck, president of the Manitoba Federation of Labour.

Pallister said he believes long-term job security and economic growth are the best ways to boost wages for all workers and create opportunities for the unemployed. …

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