Charlottetown, PE – In response to the provincial government’s announced minimum wage increase of $12.25 to $12.85, effective April 1, 2020, the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce welcomes government’s consideration of multi-year approach to minimum wage while reiterating its call for long-term minimum wage strategy.

“We appreciate government’s recognition of the significant impact this increase will have on local businesses and their ability to plan. A five percent increase is a large amount to adjust for in just over four months,” said Chamber Interim CEO, Gerard Adams. “Going forward, we want to work collaboratively with all stakeholders to develop a long-term strategy that ensures PEI’s minimum wage system works for both employers and the employees.”

In its annual submission to the Employment Standards Board, the Chamber suggested the minimum wage strategy be based on the principles of predictability, transparency, and fairness. It proposed the development process include a thorough review of the methodology for determining minimum wage, open consultation with community stakeholders, and an exploration of alternative models and best practices in other jurisdictions.

“We value the opportunity to offer our views to the Employment Standards Board and do feel our recommendations are considered – or in some cases, implemented,” said Adams. “With that said, every year, we seem to have a recurring conversation that takes a very immediate view on minimum wage. We want to break that cycle.”

Further recommendations made in the Chamber’s annual minimum wage submission to the Employment Standards Board included mandating that notice of a new minimum wage rate be given no later than six months before a scheduled increase, but suggested, ideally, the amount of the minimum wage increase be announced one year in advance; tying future minimum wage increases to the prior year’s Consumer Price Index; and in support of employees, increase the Basic Personal Amount to $12,000 and tie subsequent increases to the Consumer Price Index. The Chamber’s full submission can be viewed here.