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Minister to request a review of current minimum wage policy   

Ensuring Albertans in entry-level positions keep working, and that our province’s small businesses remain viable and competitive through global economic recovery, Alberta’s minimum wage of $8.80 per hour will remain as is through 2010.   

“This decision reflects what government feels will both protect jobs during these uncertain economic times and support the economy,” said Thomas Lukaszuk, Minister of Employment and Immigration. “In addition to freezing the minimum wage, I will also request an all-party committee review of our current policy, ensuring that our approach is what’s best for Albertans.”

Details of the minimum wage policy review will be determined over the coming weeks with consultation particulars to be announced at a later date. Linking the minimum wage to Alberta’s average weekly earnings was first adopted as policy in June 2007. On April 1, 2008, Alberta’s minimum wage increased from $8 to $8.40, then again to $8.80 on April 1, 2009. Currently, Alberta’s minimum wage ranks sixth among all provinces, with the hourly minimum wages ranging from $8 in British Columbia to $9.50 in Ontario.   

The Government of Alberta has a clear plan for a strong economic recovery. The Way Forward will bring Alberta back into a surplus position in three years by trimming government spending; using cash reserves to protect key programs; continuing to invest in public infrastructure; and ensuring that our province’s industries are competitive and continue to attract investment to provide jobs and prosperity.