May 4, 2017
Winnipeg, MB – Manitoba NDP leadership candidate Wab Kinew has committed to increasing Manitoba’s minimum wage to $15/hour by the end of his first mandate if elected Premier in 2020.
Kinew’s bold plan echoes international calls for a $15/hour minimum wage. It contrasts starkly with the approach of Brian Pallister’s government, which has allowed the minimum wage to be eroded by inflation, allowing low-wage workers to suffer.
Under Kinew’s plan, beginning in 2020 an NDP provincial government will implement annual increases to the minimum wage sufficient to get it to $15/hr by the end of the mandate. The second stage of the plan would see additional annual increases until the minimum wage reached the level of the Low-Income Cut-off. Currently in Manitoba the LICO is $15.35.
“No one who works full time in Manitoba should be living in poverty,” said Kinew. “Brian Pallister increased his own salary as Premier, but he decided all of the single parents, students, seniors and other hard-working Manitobans earning minimum wage don’t deserve a raise. His approach is misguided and wrong. If elected Premier I’ll give minimum-wage earners the respect they deserve.”
“Minimum wage workers, mostly adults and women, including many with children, struggle as much as $7,000 below the poverty line. They work full time but still have to make impossible choices between paying rent and providing food for their kids. Make Poverty History Manitoba congratulates Wab Kinew for showing leadership by committing to a living wage that will provide a path out of poverty for thousands of minimum wage workers and their families in Manitoba,” said Josh Brandon, chair of Make Poverty History Manitoba.
“Time and time again, politicians tell us the best solution to poverty is a job, ” said Shauna MacKinnon, professor of Urban and Inner City Studies at the University of Winnipeg. “Yet thousands of hard working Manitobans earning a minimum wage at its current level must also rely on foodbanks to make ends meet. Increasing the minimum wage to $15.00 is the right thing to do.”