Charlottetown, PE (November 4, 2021) – The Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce is concerned about the Government of PEI’s decision to raise the minimum wage by seventy cents, from $13 to $13.70, on April 1, 2022. This announcement has come without a long-term strategy on wages and workforce in the Province of PEI.
“We support the provincial government’s desire in ensuring Island employees are properly compensated for their hard work,” said Chamber CEO Robert Godfrey. “However, the size and timing of this increase is unfortunate and will have a large impact on employers that are still struggling with the impacts of COVID-19.”
In its 2021 Minimum Wage Review submission, the Chamber called for the provincial government to define its desired outcome for minimum wage, review current methodology, and develop a long-term strategy for minimum wage within the next six months as a way to create a transparent, fair, and predictable process.
The submission also called for the provincial government to take a more holistic approach when it comes to creating a livable income for low-income workers, such as re-evaluating our income tax bracket model to better align with the Atlantic provinces and leave more money in the pockets of Islanders.
“We encourage the provincial government to explore options when it comes to the real issue of affordability in this province and not download that responsibility to the Island business community with this large increase,” said Godfrey. “Currently, our province taxes our lowest income earners at the highest rate in Atlantic Canada, and we believe this should be reviewed and adjusted as a way to put more money in the pockets of Islanders.”
With this announcement, PEI will continue to have the highest minimum wage in Atlantic Canada, and the gap has only grown, as businesses will now be paying $1.95 more per hour than neighbouring New Brunswick after April 1, 2022. This will put our business community at a competitive disadvantage as many need to readjust budgets to account for this unexpected and large increase.
For more information on the recently announced minimum wage increase, click here.
Policy and Communications Manager
(902) 628-2000 x 224