Panel assembled by Government of Alberta to 'assess' minimum wage

Aug 16 2019, 12:38 pm

Alberta’s minimum wage could be seeing some changes come 2020.

The Government of Alberta has announced that it has put together a panel of experts to assess the currently $15/hour minimum wage and its viability for the province going forward.

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It’s not explicitly stated in the release whether this panel would be looking to raise or lower the minimum wage, but the first line is somewhat telling on that front: “Alberta has the highest minimum wage in the country, yet hard-working Albertans continue to struggle to find jobs.”

The panel will also take a look at whether a wage differential for those who work in the hospitality industry serving alcohol could result in higher net incomes.

“By establishing this panel of experts, we are keeping another platform promise and making progress on our common-sense plan to restore jobs and prosperity to our province,” Alberta’s Minister of Labour and Immigration, Jason Copping, said in the release.

“I’d like to thank the panel members for agreeing to be part of this important work.”

The panel includes U of A professor of economics Joseph Marchand (who chairs the panel), Chop Steakhouse server Rachel Donnelly, Blink Restaurant server Nicole Lychama, professor of economics Anindya Sen, vice president of Restaurants Canada Mark von Schellwitz, BC and Alberta’s vice-president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business Richard Truscott, Running Room owner Jason Stanton, and Express Employee owner Branko Borger.

“The effects of Alberta’s 47% minimum wage increase over the past four years and the elimination of the liquor server differential deserve to be studied,” said Marchand in the release.

“I am pleased to be leading a panel of experts to address that need.”

The panel’s work is expected to be completed by January 2020.