NDP will raise minimum wage

An NDP government would raise the minimum wage to $10, leader Liz Hanson and Porter Creek Centre candidate Jean-Francois Des Lauriers announced Friday.

An NDP government would raise the minimum wage to $10, leader Liz Hanson and Porter Creek Centre candidate Jean-Francois Des Lauriers announced Friday.

“The current economic boom has not benefitted all people equally,” said Hanson.

The new government will introduce the new legislation within its first year in office, boosting the wage a full dollar and putting it on par with Newfoundland, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories and Nova Scotia.

And there would be annual increases based on the Consumer Price index, said Des Lauriers.

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The party’s proposed legislation will also include stronger independence for the Workers Advocate and mandatory oversight and training for young workers.

The NDP will also enact whistleblower legislation to protect government employees who report on their bosses, said Hanson on Friday.

“Yukoners deserve a government that is open and transparent,” she said. “And public servants should be able to report government wrongdoing without fear of retaliation.”

But none of this will come until after a review involving the Yukon Workers’ Compensation, Health and Safety Board, the Federation of Labour and industry, said Des Lauriers.

For example, the party won’t offer a specific number for their proposed mandatory age regulations.

“That remains to be determined, depending on the industry,” said Des Lauriers Monday. “I don’t think it’s reasonable to have very young people involved in industries that are considered to be hazardous in the first place, like construction, mining, things like that.”

But the territory already has an age law for those industries.

According to the current Employment Standards Act, people under 17 cannot work in occupations like underground mining, for example.

The NDP’s goal is to extend that regulation across more industries like forestry and construction.

“We would definitely maintain what’s there and probably reinforce it,” said Des Lauriers, the former Northern Regional vice-president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

“We would have a discussion with the various stakeholders … to ensure that there is some limits put on age. And probably look at other jurisdictions in the country because pretty much every jurisdiction has age limits on employment in hazardous industries.”

Including the Yukon.

This announcement is an addition to the NDP’s prior labour announcements on diversifying the economy and supporting small businesses.

Contact Roxanne Stasyszyn at roxannes@yukon-news.com

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