MONTREAL—Quebec will raise the province’s minimum wage to $12 an hour as of May 1.
The 75-cent increase from the the current rate of $11.25 was confirmed today by Labour Minister Dominique Vien and is the largest hike in Quebec history.
Vien says in a statement the rise is in line with a four-year plan to have the minimum wage equivalent to 50 per cent of the average provincial hourly wage by 2020, without exceeding that level.
She also says Quebec’s thriving economy has helped the average hourly salary rise more quickly than anticipated.
The raise represents between $462 and $979 in the pocketbooks of minimum wage earners, depending on hours worked and family situation.
At $12, Quebec’s minimum wage would rank third highest in the country behind Alberta’s and Ontario’s.
Wages in neighbouring Ontario were increased from $11.60 to $14 Jan. 1, with plans to raise base pay to $15 by the beginning of next year. The decision has caused significant tension between the province’s businesses and the government.