A push from the Nova Scotia NDP for the introduction of $15 an hour minimum wage was avoided by Premier Stephen McNeil in question period on Wednesday.
NDP leader Gary Burrill pushed the premier to answer questions on the topic after the party tabled a bill earlier in the day.
“In B.C., Ontario and Alberta they are all moving towards $15,” said Burrill.
“We have one of the highest paid premiers in Canada and this premier is leading a province which has the lowest wage for low-paid workers. Does the Premier see a problem with that?”
Burrill was alluding to the fact that as of Oct. 1, 2017, inexperienced workers in the province are paid $10.35 an hour, the lowest in the country, while experienced workers are paid $10.85.
McNeil, instead, countered by saying that all Nova Scotians are better off “since they voted the NDP out of power.”
After question period the Liberal government confirmed they wouldn’t be raising the minimum wage.
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“With our economy, to move to a $15 minimum wage, where you’re essentially forcing a small business to pay an entry-level worker, $32,000 a year full time would have a devastating effect,” said Labi Kousoulis, Minister for Labour and Advanced Education.
Instead, Kousoulis revealed his department has begun to study a new two-tier model where a company with 26 employees or more would have to pay a different minimum wage than those with fewer than 26 workers.