UPDATED: Nunavut’s justice minister promises highest minimum wage in Canada

Feedback sought via survey until Oct. 31

Nunavut Justice Minister Jeannie Hakongak Ehaloak promised an increase to Nunavut’s $13 an hour minimum wage on the first day of the legislature’s fall sitting, Oct. 17. (File photo)

By Elaine Anselmi

*Justice Minister Jeannie Hakongak Ehaloak has retracted this statement, a story will follow shortly

Nunavut residents can expect a boost to the territory’s minimum wage to help match the territory’s high cost of living.

“We will have the highest minimum wage in Canada,” said Justice Minister Jeannie Hakongak Ehaloak on Thursday, Oct. 17, in an exchange with Hudson Bay MLA Allan Rumbolt on the first day of the fall sitting of the Nunavut legislature.

Nunavut’s Department of Justice is currently seeking feedback on the territorial minimum wage with a survey that can be completed until Oct. 31.

Rumbolt questioned the need for a survey.

“The need to keep the minimum wage up-to-date is not new,” Rumbolt said. “Can the minister clarify why it was decided to undertake a time-consuming survey rather than approve an increase?”

Ehaloak responded that the survey was intended to give affected businesses and agencies the chance to bring forward any concerns.

“It would be a huge increase for individuals like business owners,” said Ehaloak.

The department has also reached out to businesses and other organizations by telephone for feedback on the increase, she said.

At present, Nunavut’s $13 an hour minimum wage is below the $13.46 minimum in the Northwest Territories and below that of some of the provinces, such as Alberta with $15 and British Columbia with $13.85, according to the Retail Council of Canada.

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(6) Comments:

  1. Posted by Gordon Kukkuvak on

    minimum wage I understand it is low when where living up north where all the high cost of living cost what about people under social assistance can’t even make a monthly meal out of it especially when we can’t even go hunting no equipment’s to go out on the land can’t afford it no matter what even when we try for a loan it’s impossible when where on income support no alternative single people get bigger income support and family of 3 or more get a lot smaller and in some cases there is neglect for sure when everyone should be equal family members get away in some cases and others have to suffer hmmm that should be at the top of the question period keep that in mind

    • Posted by Qauqquqtuq Tulurialik on

      I don’t understand why it’s hard for us nunavutmouts is hard for us to find jobs I know the minimum wages are so low espically the food cost are very expencieve even most people live by off income support aren’t getting enough as we all been looking for jobs to provide for our family our children I have seen this happens for over ten years now that the people who come From different country’s to move to Canada are the once who are getting help before us Canadian nunavutmouts I see this in my own eyes of them getting house when us Canadian and nunavutmouts are struggling suffering n starving for help yet we’ll have to come together help one and other to make this change we do need our health n our life’s our children future to stand up and get up to only say hay we are already here n our elders had did so much for us they fight to keep us alive to this day and yet we are being treated wrongly by watching the new commers get income n housing faster then us Canadian n nunavutmouts why can’t no one see this I know we all grow up in ok me plant called Earth yet we are not doing something about it we have to put a stop on the new commers n start helping our country first before others yes we have to put food on the table for what one day only for our family monthly income n yet we have to wait n wait for years to get a unit a house of our self to grow up in a healthy environment what n why are minimum wages are small n why is the income so small it’s not helping any we can’t even afford store bought food cause of the high prices in nunavutmouts Al I’m saying is that treat everyone the same but Canadian should come first before new commers I see it’s so easy for new commers to get housing and high pays in the pocket they are taking advantage of us when we are already struggling in life as it is every single day we need more jobs we need to get off income support cause it’s not helping but to help only one day worth of food on the table yet we have to find country meat to eat nnot enough of food on the table

      • Posted by Crystal Clarity on

        Your perceptions of immigrants is false. They don’t get everything handed to them on a silver platter. No free houses, or money etc…. this is all false news. They come here and work their asses off in the lowest paying jobs that other Canadians don’t want to do,, struggle to learn the language, put their kids in school, start businesses etc… they work hard to get ahead and then they give back to the country that helped them out of refugee situations etc…. Nunavut, getting back to the point of this article, needs a higher minimum wage to combat the high cost of living, but unfortunately when businesses have to pay more to their workers that extra cost is ussually added on to the price of the products/services they sell. It’s a vicious circle.

        • Posted by Clear as Crystal on

          Very well put Crystal, reminds me of my father who came from
          Europe and worked hard, for years for small wages.
          Yet we never went hungry, had decent clothes, and kept our
          house good.
          He used to say “I don’t tell people what to do, and they don’t
          tell me what to do ! ”
          Good or bad we all make our choices.

  2. Posted by Hunter Falck on

    He is right, its just not Nunavutmiut, either. Governments all over the world are being overthrown because they no longer work for the people.

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