Higher minimum wage pays for necessities

David Marsden should be applauded for bringing opinion columns back to the Red Deer Advocate.

In his opinion piece of June 11, “Lower wage for youth makes sense,” he has an error and omission. The minimum wage in B.C. for all workers is not $12.65, but as of June 1, it was $13.85. It will rise to $14.60 on June 1, 2020, and at least to $15.20 on June 1, 2021.

This assumes new meaning when we compare the cost of living in Alberta and B.C. Alberta has the highest cost of living in Canada.

In April 2019, Canada’s cost of living index (based on 2002 = 100) was 136.0, while B.C.’s was 131.2 and Alberta’s was 143.7.

The Red Deer Advocate, Dec. 4, 2018, reported a study released by the City of Red Deer that estimated that the living wage for a couple with two children was $17.74 an hour, with both parents receiving that amount; $17.44 for a single parent with one child, and $15.11 for a single adult. Alberta’s $15 per hour minimum wage seems, at best, inadequate.

It costs a lot to raise teenagers. A $15 an hour minimum wage for them would go a long way to helping parents provide the necessities of life and save for post-secondary education.

Ray Kowalski, Sylvan Lake

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