It’s not an April Fool’s Day prank, the federal minimum wage has officially gone up by 55 cents starting today.
Beginning today, the federal minimum wage is now $15.55 per hour. The federal minimum wage of $15 per hour came into effect on December 29, 2021. Anyone who lives in a province or territory where the minimum wage is higher than $15.55 will continue to receive the higher wage.
The federal minimum wage is to be adjusted each year to reflect changes to the CPI. This year’s increase reflects a 3.4% rise for those receiving federal minimum wage.
While any wage increase is better than nothing, $15.55 per hour is not enough money to live in any major city in the country. A living wage, according to Living Wage Canada, is “the hourly wage a worker needs to earn to cover their basic expenses and participate in their community.”
Living Wage Canada reports that livable earnings in most major Canadian cities exceed $20 per hour. As of November 2021, the living wage in Ottawa is $18.60; in Toronto, it’s $22.08; in Metro Vancouver, the living wage is $20.52.
As of December, the Government of Canada estimates 26,000 federally-regulated workers across the country make less than $15 per hour. The majority of them live in Ontario or Quebec.