(October 26/18) The minimum wage increase to $12.25 per hour on April 1, 2019 will cost the P.E.I. foodservice sector more than $4 million, and the average restaurateur on the Island nearly $10,000 annually, warns Restaurants Canada. With this increase, the province’s minimum wage will remain the highest in Atlantic Canada and the fourth highest in the country.

The government of Prince Edward Island announced the planned increase on Oct. 26, not long after Restaurants Canada delivered a presentation to the P.E.I. Employment Standards Board, which recommended linking minimum wage increases to an economic indicator, such as the Consumer Price Index, and introducing lower liquor server and training wages.

Restaurants Canada pointed out that a minimum wage increase will not be able to help the large number of people living in poverty on the Island who do not work. And as many economic experts have argued, the province’s working poor would benefit more from an increase to the amount they can earn without paying provincial income tax. The province’s basic personal income tax exemption amount is among the lowest in Canada and one of the few that is not indexed to inflation.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can send an email to Luc Erjavec, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Atlantic Canada, at lerjavec@restaurantscanada.org.

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