A nickel and a dime is not enough

March 31, 2017

For Immediate Release

HALIFAX – NDP Leader Gary Burrill thinks the 15-cent increase in the minimum wage on April 1st is a cruel joke for the 130,000 Nova Scotians struggling to make ends meet on less than $15 an hour.

“What can you buy with a nickel and a dime?” asks Burrill. “Nova Scotia has the second lowest weekly wages in the country. The only way to grow our economy is to put more money in people’s pockets by increasing wages, and the best way to do that is to help 130,000 people by increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour.”

Brandon MacBurnie graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce and completed the Co-operative Education program at Saint Mary’s University to get the work experience he would need for future employment. His first job in accounting paid $13.25 an hour.  MacBurnie now plans to leave Nova Scotia and move to Toronto for better work opportunities.

“I tried to do everything right. I went to school. I got the work experience I needed, and even then I was making poverty wages,” said MacBurnie. “Everyone deserves a chance to be financially independent and to not be perpetually in debt. People are working hard and aren’t able to get ahead.”

The NDP’s plan would give 130,000 Nova Scotians a raise by increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour over three years. This is similar to the NDP government’s plan in Alberta, and those in various state and local governments around the United States. The phase-in period will allow businesses to adjust to the increases in wages. Evidence from jurisdictions that have already implemented a $15 minimum wage shows there is minimal impact on prices or on employment levels due to the increase in the minimum wage.

“People have to live. Could you make ends meet on $10.85 an hour?” said Burrill. “We need to create the conditions for people to succeed in life. A $15 minimum wage is a good start.”

– 30 –

For more information please contact Kyle Buott at (902) 266-2068.