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Liberals to raise minimum wage across all federally-regulated industries

In the 2021 federal budget, Deputy PM and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland announced that Canada's minimum wage, currently set at 10.23, is set to be raised across all federally-regulated industries.

Last Monday, Freeland said that “low-wage workers in Canada work harder than anyone else in this country, for less pay.” On Twitter, she wrote: "#Budget2021 is about finishing the fight against COVID. It’s about healing the economic wounds of COVID. And it’s about building a better, more fair, more prosperous, more innovative future for us all."

The minimum wage is set to raise by $5. In addition to expanding the Canada Workers Benefit by investing $8.9 billion "in additional support for low-wage workers, [we will be] extending income top-ups to about a million more Canadians and lifting nearly 100,000 people out of poverty. And this budget will introduce a $15 an hour federal minimum wage."

So what are the federally regulated industries in which this will apply? According to the Canada Labour Code, the following industries apply:

  • Federally regulated private sectors

  • air transportation, including airlines, airports, aerodromes and aircraft operations

  • banks, including authorized foreign banks

  • grain elevators, feed and seed mills, feed warehouses and grain-seed cleaning plants

  • first Nations band councils (including certain community services on reserve)

  • most federal Crown corporations, for example, Canada Post Corporation

  • port services, marine shipping, ferries, tunnels, canals, bridges and pipelines (oil and gas) that cross international or provincial borders

  • radio and television broadcasting

  • railways that cross provincial or international borders and some short-line railways

  • road transportation services, including trucks and buses, that cross provincial or international borders

  • telecommunications, such as, telephone, Internet, telegraph and cable systems

  • uranium mining and processing and atomic energy

  • any business that is vital, essential or integral to the operation of one of the above activities

  • Federally regulated public sector

  • the federal public service

  • Parliament (such as, the Senate, the House of Commons and the Library of Parliament)

  • Private-sector firms and municipalities in Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut

The raise is set to affect "over 26,000 workers who currently make less than $15 per hour in the federally regulated private sector," according to the Liberal government.

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