Ottawa – A recent national poll found that three in four Canadians think the minimum wage should be increased to at least $10.00 an hour. “The average minimum wage in Canada is currently less than $7.60, which would put a single individual who works full time under the poverty line,” said Canadian Union of Public Employees – CUPE, National President Paul Moist.
According to the VectorTM poll 74% of respondents favoured raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour after hearing arguments for and against it. “This certainly reflects what I am hearing from people across the country. Canadians understand that there is something wrong when you work full time and still find yourself living in poverty,” Moist said.
“This is an issue of fairness for all of us – families, employers, communities. Not surprisingly, low wages are one of the reasons behind Canada’s 18 per cent rate of child and family poverty. One- third of low income children live in families in which at least one parent works full time all year but still cannot climb out of poverty,” said Laurel Rothman, National Coordinator of Campaign 2000, a cross-Canada coalition advocating to end child and family poverty.
A solid majority of Canadians polled in every region and from all walks of life support the increase.
The recent report on federal labour standards addressed the issue of a federal minimum wage and stated, ‘this is an issue of fundamental decency that no modern, prosperous country like Canada can ignore’.
“Prime Minister Harper must take the initiative and show leadership to combat poverty and economic insecurity for Canadian families at home and re-introduce a federal minimum wage at – $10.00 an hour. Provinces must also move forward to increase their minimum wages to similar levels,” concluded Moist.
The Canadian Union of Public employees represents one in sixty working Canadians, and at over half a million members, is Canada’s largest union.
For more information please contact:
Paul Moist CUPE national president 613)-237-1590 ext. 224 or 613-558-2873 (cell);
Toby Sanger CUPE economist 613-237-1590 ext. 241 or 613-720-6955 (cell);
Laurel Rothman Coordinator Campaign 2000 416-595-9230 ext. 228;
Sandra Sorensen CUPE Communications 613-237-1590 ext. 334