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Influence: Advocacy that helps your business

Calgary and Edmonton Chambers of Commerce call for delay in any increase to minimum wage

Minimum wage increase moves forward without necessary research

While we fully support the Government of Alberta’s stated goals of ensuring that more Albertans live with adequate means and can lead fulfilling lives, we do not believe that a blanket increase to the minimum wage is the means to do so given what the data tells us.

We feel the adverse implications of this wage increase, by far the largest in recent history, could be far-reaching and may result in detrimental impacts to those it intends to help. These impacts will make employment even more precarious for low-wage workers. With such a dramatic increase, workers and businesses alike could experience a variety of negative repercussions.

In conjunction with the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce we recently sent a policy submission to the Government of Alberta detailing our recommendations to mitigate the economic costs of a minimum wage increase.

Read the letter and full submission to Premier Notley.


Deconstructing the debate: Minimum wage research and the Alberta context

Analyzing the underlying logic, assumptions, and context of often-cited minimum wage papers.

Deconstructing the debate: Minimum wage research and the Alberta context

Just as the very idea of a $15 an hour minimum wage comes to Alberta from the United States, so does much of the research on its benefits. 

When surveying the pro-minimum wage studies, one common theme does arise: the social and financial benefits of an increased minimum wage are highly dependent on context. This requires Albertans to ask an important question when being presented with research and scholarly work on the topic of the minimum wage:

Does the context apply to Alberta?

See why we need Alberta-centric research, which provides insights to the costs and benefits of minimum wage policies.

Infographic: Understanding minimum wage in Alberta

Infographic: Understanding minimum wage in Alberta

A change in minimum wage can have wide-ranging implications for families, businesses, employment and overall economic growth such as a ripple effect up the salary ladder and price inflation.

However, the majority of minimum wage earners are young people, inexperienced in their jobs, and in industries that typically earn tips to supplement their incomes. 

Take a look at our latest policy infographic to get an overview of the minimum wage landscape in Alberta.


Survey findings: The impacts of a significant minimum wage increase


In June of 2015, the Alberta Chambers of Commerce conducted a survey of Alberta businesses through its network of community chambers. A total of 1430 respondents completed the survey. The survey was based on the Provincial Government’s proposal to increase Alberta’s minimum wage from $10.20 per hour to $15 per hour.

Among its many relevant findings: 63% of businesses indicated they are likely to downsize the number of workers they employ if the full increase to $15 is implemented within the next 3 years. 

Read the full results of ACC's survey and its submission Minister of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour, Lori Sigurdson.