New Brunswick — Today, 5 Canadian provinces raised their minimum wage and New Brunswick wasn’t one of them. The have-not province is now left with the lowest minimum wage in the country, giving residents all the more reason to remain unemployed.
“Only $10.30 an hour? I make almost that much staying at home doing nothing,” balked Saint John resident Josie Thomas. “Why would I go and get a job at a Tim Hortons or Service New Brunswick when I could stay home, put my feet up, watch Maury and earn money the easy way. It’ll take more than $10.30 for me to miss Maury, I can tell ya that much right now.”
New Brunswick’s minimum wage is now 20 cents lower than that of P.E.I, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland, and a whopping $2.20 lower than the Northwest Territories, which boasts the country’s highest minimum wage.
“They get $2.20 more an hour?” exclaimed Jeremy Bopper of Newcastle. “That’s a huge difference. If I made that much more money, I could invest in some RRSPs, or I could buy, like, 6 more McDoubles a day.”
The Manatee was able to briefly speak with Premier Gallant about the issue. “Well it kinda makes sense, don’t you think?” he thoughtfully queried. “I mean, the Northwest Territories have to pay that much to make up for it being such a terrible place to live; same goes for Alberta, the prairies and Ontario — I’m actually pretty surprised that Quebec’s isn’t like 20 bucks.”
Gallant refused to follow up on those comments as his assistant reminded him that he was already running late for his weekly hair appointment.
Business owners in the province are generally in favour of the wage staying where it is.
“If I have to pay my employees more, I make less money for myself — that’s simple math,” stated Harold Vye, owner of Cash for UR Gold, a pawn shop in Fredericton that will buy your jewelry for substantially less than it’s worth. “I offer an important service to my clients and I think I should be able to pay my employees whatever I want to — in fact, I think they should lower the minimum wage.”
Stacey Jessey, owner and sole employee of a pet-grooming spa in Burton, also supports the rock-bottom wage. “I can’t afford to pay myself even a little more money,” she confessed. “If they increase the minimum wage, I’ll have to take out a loan just to be able to pay my own salary.”
The Gallant government has committed to raising the minimum wage in 2017, and the premier has said that leading up to then, he will do whatever he can to make New Brunswick a worse place to live so the wage increase will make sense.