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Quebec minimum wage officially rises to $11.25

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WATCH ABOVE: Quebec’s minimum wage is increasing to $11.25 per hour. Global’s Billy Shields reports – May 1, 2017

Quebec’s minimum wage is now $11.25, up 50 cents an hour from $10.75.

Both the business and labour communities in Montreal say they are pleased with the change.

READ MORE: Quebec raises minimum wage to $11.25 as of May 1

“Of course it’s good news. That’s per hour, right? An increase is an increase, I would say,” said Andy Bhullar, who works at Tim Horton’s on Peel Street in downtown Montreal.

The announcement to increase minimum wage was made in January.

“Quebec’s minimum wage is probably somewhere near the lower part of Canadian provinces,” said Joseph Huza, president and executive director of the West Island Chamber of Commerce.

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In October, hundreds of Quebecers gathered in Montreal to march for a $15 minimum wage.

READ MORE: Quebecers march for $15 minimum wage

“The cost of living is getting always more expensive,” Mathieu Proulx, a maintenance worker at the Old Port, told Global News at the protest.

Nevertheless, the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB) explained it was concerned that provincial officials would raise the baseline pay scale to $15 an hour.

The organization said it would make life unduly hard for small businesses and the province should instead focus on cutting payroll taxes.

READ MORE: Old Port of Montreal union looks to raise minimum wage to $15 in Quebec

“For small business owners, wage costs are an important part of their total expenses,” said Simon Gaudreault, with the CFIB.

For tip earners, minimum wage goes up by 25 cents an hour, to $9.45.

READ MORE: A look at minimum wages across Canada

Minimum wage is scheduled to go up again incrementally in 2018 and 2019.

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