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Top Canadian Provinces That Have the Highest Minimum Wage in 2023

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Top Canadian Provinces That Have the Highest Minimum Wage in 2023

The current minimum wage rates in Canada for each province and territory.

  1. Nunavut: $16 per hour
  2. Nova Scotia: $14.50 per hour
  3. Yukon: $16.77 per hour
  4. British Columbia: $15.65 per hour
  5. Ontario: $15.50 per hour
  6. Northwest Territories: $15.20 per hour
  7. Alberta $15 per hour
  8. Quebec: $14.25 per hour
  9. New Brunswick: $14.75 per hour
  10. Prince Edward Island: $14.50 per hour
  11. Newfoundland and Labrador: $14.50 per hour
  12. Manitoba: $14.15 per hour
  13. Saskatchewan: $13.00 per hour

This year has brought on many new economic changes in Canada: the rise in gas prices, food price hikes and shortages, a skyrocketing real estate market, and now a possible recession. However, there have been some changes that can work towards improving Canadians quality of life. One change, in particular, is the rise in the minimum wage across the country.

Although some would argue these rises were long overdue, it's important to acknowledge that they are happening and will continue to do so. Plus, with the rising costs of many essential items, a higher minimum wage may help to offset some of the negative effects. While there is still work to be done and progress to be made to ensure a fair standard of living across Canada, wage increases are a step in the right direction.

To provide some context, iCASH, an online Canadian lender is compiling a list of all the current minimum wages in each province and territory, as well as outlining when the next rise is scheduled (if any).

If you've ever wondered what the current minimum wage is in your province or territory, or are simply interested in discovering which places in Canada have the highest minimum wages, read on the find out.

Canadian Provinces With the Highest Minimum Wage

The province with the highest minimum wage in Canada is British Columbia at $15.65 per hour. The province with the lowest minimum wage in Canada is Saskatchewan at $13.00 per hour.

We'll list the top Canadian provinces and territories that have the highest minimum wage, starting with the highest minimum wage and working our way down. This guide is designed to help you understand the current minimum wage where you live as well as how often it changes or is scheduled to change.

It's also important to note that if you or someone you know is working on commission, as an intern, or is an executive/managerial employee, different wage rules may apply. And, if you ever find yourself struggling to make ends meet on your current wage, there are many government-funded benefit programs and services in place to help.

So, without further ado, let's take a look at the current minimum wages throughout the country and how they compare to the rising price of essential goods and services needed for basic living.

Nunavut Minimum Wages

Nunavut minimum wage is currently set to $16.00 per hour. When it comes to reviewing the annual minimum wage, the NWT & Nunavut Wage Review Board looks at a variety of factors.

These include:

  • The cost of living
  • Average hourly wage
  • Consumer Price Index
  • Average weekly earnings

There is a rule in the Nunavut Labour Standards Act that says if an employer asks a worker to come to work and the worker was not expecting it, the worker will still get paid for at least four hours of work at their usual pay rate. This is called the minimum payment. The worker will get paid this even if they don't actually do any work when they come to work.

Nova Scotia Minimum Wages

Nova Scotia's current minimum wage is $14.50. An exciting note to point out is that the province is currently in the midst of a five-step plan to bring the minimum wage to $15.00 by April 1, 2024. Beginning April 1, 2025, wages will be adjusted with inflation plus an additional 1% annually.

Much like other provinces, Nova Scotia also looks at a variety of factors when it comes to setting its numbers. In addition to considering the inflation rate in Canada, the province also takes into consideration the cost of living and the overall state of the economy.

The minimum wage in Nova Scotia will be increased in the future as well. Starting from October 1, 2023, the minimum wage rate will be raised to $14.65 per hour, and from April 1, 2024, it will be further increased to $15 per hour.

Similarly to other provinces, there exists a law in this province which outlines pay regulations for employees who are called in to work outside their regular schedule. In such cases, employers are required to pay their employees for a minimum of 3 hours of work, regardless of the actual duration of work.

Employers are permitted to charge their employees for the cost of uniforms and may subtract this from their pay. However, it is illegal to deduct uniform expenses if the remaining salary would be less than the minimum wage rate for the total hours worked.

Yukon Minimum Wages

Starting from April 1, 2023, the minimum wage in Yukon will be $16.77 per hour. Every year on April 1st, the minimum wage rate goes up. This increase is connected to the cost of living and is measured by something called the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI helps people know how much things cost.

The government decides how much workers on public works contracts will be paid. This is called the fair wage schedule. On April 1st of every year, the wage rates change based on the cost of living, which is measured by the Consumer Price Index for Whitehorse.

The government of Yukon sets the lowest wage that must be paid to workers who are hired for specific types of work. This list is called the Fair Wage Schedule. It tells employers how much they have to pay their workers based on what type of work they do and what their job title is. This rule applies to people who work on construction projects for the government of Yukon, like building things, making roads, and installing sewers and water mains.

Northwest Territories Wages

Similar to Nunavut and Yukon, the Northwest Territories has a higher minimum wage sitting at $15.20 effective September 1, 2021.

The law does not say how old someone has to be to work. But, if you are less than 17 years old, you need permission from someone who works for the government to work between 11 pm and 6 am or when you are supposed to be at school.

If you are younger than 16 years old, there are some jobs you are not allowed to do because they can be dangerous. These jobs include working on a construction site, in a factory where wood or metal is made, in a small space, in a forest, operating machines that move on their own, using big machines like cranes, and working where there are dangerous things that can make you sick or hurt you. You are also not allowed to work on power lines.

British Columbia Minimum Wages

After the territories, British Columbia has the next highest minimum wage in Canada. The current wage in the province is $15.64 effective June 1, 2022. On June 1, 2023 the minimum wage rate will go up to $16.75 per hour.

The B.C government has also committed to reviewing the minimum wage each year and making changes as needed. This is to ensure that wages are keeping up with the rising cost of living and to protect the province's lowest-paid workers.

Not too long ago, some workers were not paid the same minimum wage as others. For example, people who served alcohol used to get $13.95 per hour instead of the $14.60 that others got. But, from June 1, 2021, everyone who works must be paid the same minimum hourly wage.

Employers must pay their workers at least two times per month. Workers do not get extra pay if they work extra hours or during holidays that everyone gets off. But, it is the employer's responsibility to make sure that their workers do not work too many hours that could harm their health or safety.

Ontario Minimum Wages

Ontario's current minimum wage sits at $15.50. However, it's important to note that the Minister of Labour has the power to make changes at any time if it's warranted. The hourly wage for students is $14.60, whereas domestic/homeworkers earn $17.05 per hour.

The student rate is applicable to individuals under the age of 18 who work 28 hours or less per week during school sessions, as well as during school breaks and summer.

Domestic or homeworkers refer to individuals who perform various types of work from home, such as sewing for clothing manufacturers or answering phones for call centers. Even if students are employed as homeworkers, they must be paid the minimum wage of $17.05.

With Ontario being the largest populated province in Canada, it's no surprise that the minimum hourly wage is among the highest to help offset the cost of living. It's also important to note that the minimum wage applies to all workers in Ontario, with very few exceptions.

For example, before 2022, many restaurant workers in Ontario were working for less than the province’s wage, but this is no longer the case. As of January 1, 2022, all servers, waiters, and bartenders will earn the same minimum wage as other workers in the province - $15.50 per hour.

Alberta Minimum Wages

The current minimum wage in Alberta is $15.00.

The wage rate for individuals under 18 who are part of the workforce is different, specifically set at $13 per hour. Nevertheless, employers have the freedom to offer higher rates, while the standard overtime regulations still apply.

It's worth noting that if a student exceeds 28 working hours in a week, the employer must pay them the standard hourly rate of $15.00 for any additional hours worked. However, this only applies during school sessions.

Regardless of age, the minimum wage rate does not cover tips, gratuities, or expenses. This is particularly crucial for service industry employees who may be paid minimum wage but are expected to receive a significant portion of their income from tips.

Much like Nunavut and Ontario, Alberta also looks at a variety of factors when it comes to reviewing its wages. With Alberta being the fourth-largest province in Canada by population, the cost of living can be quite high in certain areas; therefore, wages are set among the highest to help offset these costs.

Prince Edward Island Minimum Wages

As of now, the minimum wage rate in Prince Edward Island (PEI) is $14.50 per hour and is applicable to all types of workers. Unlike other provinces, PEI does not have different wage rates for specific categories of employees. However, effective from 1 October 2023, the minimum wage rate will increase to $15.00 per hour.

It is prohibited to charge employees for meals that they did not receive. Also, the employee's salary, after deductions for board and lodging, should not be less than the minimum wage rate minus the specified amount in this Order, regardless of the nature of their work.

Quebec Minimum Wages

As of May 1, 2022, the minimum wage in Quebec is $14.25. For tipped employees, the minimum will rise from $10.80 to $11.40.

Employees who earn tips, including hairstylists and servers, are subject to a separate minimum wage rate, which has been increased to $11.40 per hour.

These include:

  • Students who work for a non-profit organization with a social or community mission.
  • Interns or apprentices who are enrolled in a professional training program that's recognized by law.
  • Workers who are strictly paid on commission, working with a commercial activity off-site, and whose working time and hours are not influenced by the employer. For example, a call centre salesperson who receives a commission based on the number of sales wouldn't be entitled to the minimum wage.

Newfoundland & Labrador Minimum Wage

Currently, the minimum wage in Newfoundland & Labrador is $14.50 as of April 1, 2023. The government does have the power to make changes as needed if necessary; however, they typically review the numbers annually to ensure that it's keeping up with the cost of living.

In Newfoundland, the minimum wage rate is reviewed annually on April 1st by the government. The rate is adjusted by the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index from the previous year, and then rounded off to the nearest $0.05. If the resulting rate is lower than the current minimum wage, the official rate remains unchanged.

Similar to some other provinces, individuals employed in government construction projects in Newfoundland Construction are entitled to specific rates, based on their specialization. They are paid either the hourly rates specified for their job or the standard minimum wage rate, whichever is higher.

Newfoundland & Labrador looks at a variety of factors when it comes to setting the minimum wage, including:

  • The Consumer Price Index
  • The Average Weekly Earnings
  • The Low-Income Cut-Off

New Brunswick Minimum Wages

The current minimum wage in New Brunswick is $14.75. Since 2019, the median wage in the province has increased by 14 percent compared with a two percent increase in the minimum wage.

In New Brunswick, a minimum wage rate for overtime work is enforced, which is set at $22.13 per hour.

Apart from the standard minimum wage rate, there are also specific rates for individuals employed in government construction projects, construction and trades workers.

Manitoba Minimum Wages

Manitoba's currently has one of the lowest minimum wages in the entire country, sitting at $14.15. The province's wages are adjusted annually in October based on the inflation rate.

In Manitoba, Construction workers who build homes must be paid at least the minimum wage set by the government. But, workers who build big things like roads and bridges have different pay rates depending on what they do. Workers in buildings like offices, hospitals, and schools also have different pay rates depending on their job.

Even workers who get paid extra money for doing a good job or for selling things must still earn an amount of money that is the same as the minimum wage on average. If the extra money they get doesn't add up to the minimum wage, their employer must pay them more to make up the difference.

Saskatchewan Minimum Wages

The current minimum wage in Saskatchewan is $13.00. The province typically reviews wages every year on October 1st.

Starting from October 1, 2023, the minimum wage will be increased to $14.00 per hour, and on April 1, 2024, it will further increase to $15.00 per hour.

Most workers must be paid at least the minimum wage for every hour they work, including the time when they are waiting for their employer's instructions. The government of Saskatchewan decided to increase the minimum wage for the years 2022 to 2024. After that, the minimum wage will be decided based on a formula that uses the price of things we buy. The changes will be announced before June 30th and will take effect from October 1st of the same year.

Some workers do not have to be paid the minimum wage. These include farmers, caregivers who work at someone's home, temporary babysitters, athletes who are playing their sports, volunteers for non-profit organizations, and individuals who have a physical or mental disability and work for non-profit organizations to learn or get better.

Canadian Minimum Wage by Province

Whether you're a student working your way through school or a single parent trying to support your family, the minimum wage is an important topic. Regardless of what province you live in, it's important to know what the current wages are and how often they change.

If you are working as one of Canada's lowest-paid worker and finding it difficult to cover your daily expenses, you could always consider a short term loan from iCASH. With our easy online application and fast approval process, we could help get you the money you need in as little as five minutes.