Saskatchewan Minimum Wage set to Increase $15 per Hour, Still Lowest than other Canadian Provinces

Saskatchewan’s minimum wage is set to rise to $15 an hour on October 1, making it the lowest in the country alongside Alberta. Despite this seven-percent raise, the new wage remains $3.95 per hour short of meeting basic living expenses.

Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety, Don McMorris, highlighted the positive aspects of the increase, stating it is “one way we’re supporting workers in this province.” He also emphasized Saskatchewan’s low personal taxes, positioning the province as a desirable place to live and work.

Opposition critic for economy and jobs, Aleana Young, responded by pointing out the financial stress Saskatchewan residents face. She emphasized that her party, led by Carla Beck, aims to ensure higher paychecks and better support for working people.

While the $15 per hour minimum wage is an improvement from the $11.81 rate in 2021, it still falls short of the living wage. In 2023, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives identified the living wage in Regina as $17.90 per hour and $18.95 per hour in Saskatoon.

Saskatchewan Minimum Wage increase 2024

Craig Pickthorne, the communications director for Living Wage Canada, noted that despite the seven-percent raise, the new minimum wage is insufficient for covering basic expenses in Saskatchewan’s major cities. He stressed that a full-time minimum wage job in Regina or Saskatoon still wouldn’t allow workers to make ends meet.

The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) criticized the announcement, calling it “self-applauding.” They pointed out that, since 2018, the average wage in Saskatchewan, adjusted for inflation, has decreased by nearly six percent, while real wages in Manitoba have increased by 18 percent.

Saskatoon’s Chamber of Commerce expressed concern about the potential impact on businesses, anticipating that the increased labor costs would be passed on to consumers. Margot Orr, the director of policy and government relations, highlighted the challenges faced by business owners dealing with rising operational costs and slim profit margins.

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