Federal minimum wage increases by 65 cents on April 1

Mar 21, 2024 | Canadian News, News

Minimum wage workers in federal sectors are set to get an increase in their wages starting April 1.

Canada’s federal minimum wage is getting a bump of 65 cents to $17.30 per hour starting in April.

The increase aligns with the Liberal government’s commitment to tie minimum wage adjustments to inflation, ensuring workers’ wages keep pace with the rising cost of living.

The change will have an impact on people working in federally regulated sectors such as international and interprovincial transportation, telecommunications, banking, postal and courier services, radio and television broadcasting.

Astha Bhatnagar, 22, working at a beauty lounge said federal minimum wage is something which should apply to all regardless of what the person’s job is.

“I strongly believe that the federal minimum wage should be considered for all jobs as this way every individual gets a fair shot at a decent living, regardless of where they work,” Bhatnagar said.

This increase in federal wages does not affect the minimum wage rates in each province or territory.

Many provinces are also increasing their hourly minimum wages starting April 1, including New Brunswick to $15.30, Yukon to $17.59, Newfoundland and Labrador to $15.60 and Nova Scotia at $15.20.

Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan will also increase their minimum wage from Oct. 1 to $16 and $15 respectively. B.C. will see a change on June 1 to $17.40 from $16.75 an hour.

If a provincial government has set a minimum wage for its province higher than the federal minimum wage then the workers will be paid what the provincial government has set.

The changes also apply to federally regulated employees who are under 18 and interns.

This increase is based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) from the previous year.

The annual average CPI for 2023 stood at 3.9 per cent.

The federal government aims to adjust the minimum wage annually to help keep pace with the rising cost of living.

Anvi Sanan, 20, working at Humber residence, said the federal minimum wage should apply to all jobs and not just federal sectors, as it is unfair for people like her who work as hard.

“I think the federal minimum wage should be applied to all jobs. It’s about fairness and making sure everyone gets a decent wage for their work, regardless of the industry they’re in and also everyone puts the same amount of effort in their work,” Sanan said.

In 2021, the Canada Labour Code was updated to set a federal minimum wage of $15 per hour, with annual increases tied to inflation.

Every year on April 1 the federal minimum wage is adjusted based on the previous year’s CPI.

Provinces in Canada set their timelines for changes in minimum wage every year but these changes typically take place alongside fluctuations in inflation and the CPI.