The Alberta Chamber of Commerce is concerned how the province is handling the minimum wage increase.
The province laid out plans to get to a $15/hour minimum wage by 2018, with a $1 increase this year, and a $1.40 increase in both 2017 and 2018.
ACC President and CEO Ken Kobly says a better paced approached would have been much better, given the state of the current economy.
“This could lead to unemployment, particularly with students,” says Kobly. “It could lead to cutbacks in benefits as well. I think there are some unintended consequences that perhaps the government thinks that may not happen.”
Kobly says supporters of the wage increase point to the “Fight for 15” in the US. But he says, no State is getting to $15/hour until 2022. He says a better solution may be funding the Alberta Family Employment Benefit Credit.
“It would share he burden between business and society in general, if we take the position that removing people out of poverty is a societal issue. Perhaps all society should contribute towards that, not just businesses.”
Kobly says he, and other employers, also feel that their opinions were discounted by the province, after the government announced the min-wage increase, shortly after the consultation process. tl