Schweitzer announces minimum wage proposal

Sep 07, 2017

Proposal would freeze minimum wage at the September, 2017 level of $12.20/hour

Alberta conservatives deserve to know about the policies of their leadership candidates and today Doug Schweitzer announced the final part of his plan to support small businesses in Alberta by creating the most attractive business environment in North America. This policy announcement comes after previously announced small business friendly policies of cutting the small business tax rate in half, eliminating the carbon tax, and rescinding 2 business regulations for every 1 new regulation introduced.

Doug has travelled across the province extensively over the course of this campaign, meeting with small business owners, business managers, consumers and Albertans making minimum wage. All have largely told Doug the same thing: raising the minimum wage to $15/hour is going to hurt small businesses and people looking for work.

Should Alberta conservatives form government in 2019, Doug proposes repealing the NDP’s $15/hour minimum wage, and returning it to the current September 2017 level of $12.20/hour. Based on the 2019 projections of other Canadian jurisdictions, $12.20/hour will be the second highest minimum wage across all provinces, second only to Ontario. 

“We need to make Alberta the most competitive business environment in Canada and repeal the NDP’s $15/hour minimum wage – it is out of touch and just isn’t going to work for Alberta. A minimum wage of $12.20/hour will maintain our competitiveness with workers, while ensuring small businesses, our largest employers, are able to remain competitive and continue to create the jobs that so many Albertans rely on.” 

“I have heard over and over again, that the NDP’s minimum wage policy will not only hurt businesses bottom line but cause a number of small businesses to close their doors. Budgeting in the red may be okay for the NDP but for most businesses it is met with lost jobs and ultimately bankruptcy. We have to do better.”

-       Doug Schweitzer, Candidate for Leader of the United Conservative Party


For additional information, please contact:

Jessica Chawrun
Communications Director
Phone: 587.926.8781 /

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  • By 2019, $15/hr won’t qualify as a living wage; hence, considering a minimum wage rollback to $12.20/hr is far from moral. Yesterday, Doug, you declared that we need to put children first – first into even greater poverty than we currently see?

    Doug, if you truly believe that $15/hr is “out of touch,” I respectfully submit that you really do not have a grip on the level of poverty in Alberta, and you should spend substantially more time listening to teachers, social workers, medical personnel, etc. – yes, the front line workers toiling in far from ideal conditions who you intend to reward with a 3% pay cut.

    Every job is vital in some way to society. Who has the right to play judge and jury to determine who is to suffer on inadequate minimum wages and unable to adequately dress and feed their kids let alone themselves, and who is live on substantial profits as major players in Alberta corporations while sending their kids to private schools (heavily subsidized by public dollars) and paying their minions minimum wage in order to maximize insanely high profit margins?

    I challenge all politicians and business owners/executives who reject the concept of living wages to consider:

    • How can you sleep well at night cognizant that your comfortable (perhaps extravagant) lifestyle is at the expense of people whio can’t afford to live?

    • What significant (not token conscience relief) contribution do you make daily to improve the quality of lives of people not as privileged as you?

    • What qualities do you possess that the lowest paid person in Alberta doesn’t that entitles you to a privileged lifestyle and sentences the other soul to a lifetime of poverty?

    • What qualifies you to submit that teens or bar/restaurant servers should be paid a lower minimum wage? No one should be reliant on tips to live. Sometimes, those teens you feel should be paid less are helping to support their families.

    • If you don’t accept that minimum wage is already insufficient, perhaps the time has arrived to support your family on minimum wages for a year, or two, or three.

    I’m not a proponent of minimum wages simply because the level is never adequate. Although I support a real living wage that is not based on bare survival needs, I prefer to advocate for a government supported base income to permit all individuals to rise above poverty and live with dignity and cognizance that they are valuable.
  • I definitely support a lower minimum wage. I don’t yet know why you chose $12.20 but I can tell you that $15 is simply not sustainable. The move from $10.20 to $15.00 (I realize it is spread over 4 years) is a 47% increase in labour. What business can afford that? We have all seen the domino affect… everyone up the line wants an increase as well – and so they should.

    What good is a $15 minimum wage if a business has to lay people off to manage his/her labour based on a predetermined percentage (labour as a percentage of revenue cannot exceed XX% or we’re not in business)?

    I feel for business owners. Thanks for raising this issue.
  • I am a small business owner who employes many young adults! I wish we could have a two tier wage scale. I do not mind paying adults who pay bills and rent $15 per hour. But when I am forced to pay a 15 year old who has not work experience it will definitely be tough. Just one dollar increase for all existing staff I employ now will add $28,000 to my payroll annually that only $1 per associate per hour. Some will need a $1.40 increase to get to minimum wage as if Oct 1 here in Alberta. And I am not seeing any increase in sales. Produce and products are doubling in price to bring in… I just DO NOT see the light at the end of the tunnel.. concerned Small Business Owner.