Under the Constitution of Canada, the responsibility for enacting and enforcing labour laws including minimum wages in Canada rests with the ten provinces. The three territories also having been granted this power by virtue of federal legislation. This means that each province and territory has its own minimum wage. The lowest general minimum wages in force currently is that of British Columbia ($8.00/hour) and the highest is that of Nunavut ($10.00/hour). Some provinces allow lower wages to be paid to liquor servers and other tip earners, and/or to inexperienced employees. British Columbia allows employers to pay as little as $6/hour to new workers with less than 500 hours of work experience (about three months of full-time employment, six months half-time, or one year quarter-time). For those in the Yukon, the minimum wage rate applies to employees who are 17 years of age or over.
The federal government in years past has set its own minimum wage rates for workers in federal jurisdiction industries (railways for example). In 1996, however, the federal minimum wage was re-defined to be the general adult minimum wage rate of the province or territory where the work is performed. This means, for example, that a railway company could not legally pay a worker in British Columbia less than $8.00/hour regardless of the worker's experience.
This list of minimum wages in Canada collects the minimum wages in Canadian dollars (CAD) set by each province and territory of Canada. Assuming a 40-hour work week for 4.34 weeks a month, the monthly gross incomes of individuals earning the lowest and highest minimum wages in Canada are $1345 and $1519, respectively. Based on current exchange rates, Canadian minimum wages in every jurisdiction are comparable to the U.S. federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour (although BC's "training" wage is almost always below this level depending on exchange); however, critics of current minimum wage levels in Canada often claim that they are insufficient and advocate that they be raised to what they claim to be the living wage. The national New Democratic Party had called for a separate federal minimum wage of $10/hour (higher than any current provincial minimum), although as mentioned above, such a change could not be enforced on any employer operating under provincial jurisdiction (unless the province voluntarily agreed to harmonize its own minimum wage). On October 1, 2009, M.P. Irene Mathyssen introduced a private member's bill (C-448) to amend the Canada Labour Code with regard to the minimum wage and have the federal minimum wage set to $12/hr.
The following table is a list of hourly minimum wages for adult workers in Canada. The provinces which have their minimum wages in bold allow for lower wages under circumstances which are described under the "Comments" heading.
Note: The following table can be sorted by Jurisdiction, Wage, or Effective date using the icon.
|Jurisdiction||Wage (C$)||Effective date||Comments|
|Alberta||8.80||Apr. 1, 2009||Will be adjusted annually every April.|
|British Columbia||8.00||Nov. 1, 2001||This wage applies only once a person has worked for more than 500 hours with one or more employers; the "First Job/Entry Level" minimum wage is $6.00/hour.|
|Manitoba||9.00||Oct. 1, 2009||Workers involved in Construction have a minimum wage starting at $12.60.|
|New Brunswick||8.25||Sep. 1, 2009|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||9.50||Jan. 1, 2010||Increasing to $10.00 on July 1, 2010.|
|Northwest Territories||8.25||Dec. 28, 2003|
|Nova Scotia||8.60||Apr. 1, 2009||$8.10 for inexperienced workers (less than three months employed in the type of work they are hired to do). This is the first of three increases in the minimum wage over the next year and a half. By the fall of 2010, the minimum wage will be $9.65 an hour.|
|Nunavut||10.00||Sep. 5, 2008||The highest in Canada.|
|Ontario||9.50||Mar. 31, 2009||* Will increase by $0.75 per hour to reach $10.25 on March 31,
|Prince Edward Island||8.40||Oct. 1, 2009|
|Quebec||9.00||May 1, 2009||Workers receiving gratuities receive $8.00. To be raised to $9.50 per hour, effective May 1, 2010.|
|Saskatchewan||9.25||May 1, 2009|
|Yukon||8.89||Apr. 1, 2009||Yukon is currently the only jurisdiction in Canada to peg annual increases (every April 1st) in its minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index.|