The Yukon Party is looking for certainty from the Yukon government about the minimum wage hike that is written into the Liberal-NDP confidence and supply agreement.
The deal, which was originally signed in 2021 and extended on Jan. 31, outlines that minimum wage will be bumped up annually on April 1 of each subsequent year tied to inflation.
In a Feb. 9 release, the Official Opposition said businesses are wondering which number will apply for that adjustment this year.
“Small businesses who are still recovering from the pandemic are wary of any type of uncertainty right now,” Community Services critic Patti McLeod, who is MLA for Watson Lake, said in the release.
Minimum wage workers are also likely wondering how much money they will make when the minimum wage is adjusted.
Data released Jan. 17 by the Yukon Bureau of Statistics has the consumer price index at 8.1 per cent year-over-year as of December 2022, and 6.8 per cent on average for the calendar year.
Rent increases are indexed to inflation. In a Feb. 3 release about the residential rent index being updated, the Yukon government cited the 6.8 per cent figure.
A 6.8 per cent boost would bring the minimum wage up to $16.77, the highest in Canada.
According to statistics on the Retail Council of Canada’s website, the Yukon already has the second-highest minimum wage, only behind the $16 per hour minimum wage in Nunavut.
Minimum wage is currently set at $15.70. On April 1, 2022, minimum wage went up based on the 3.3 per cent consumer price index for Whitehorse.
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