Minimum Wage in Canada by Province 2021

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Employers of labour in Canada are required by law to pay all the employees in their establishment a minimum wage, as stipulated by their province or territory. As a result, Canada’s minimum wage varies significantly by the province or territory you reside or work.

Each province and territory in Canada has jurisdiction to enact rules that guide the enforcement of labour laws, including minimum wage, employee rights, working conditions, overtime rules, and more.

In recent times, most of the ten provinces and three territories in Canada have made significant efforts to increase employees’ minimum wage in their region.

Let’s take a look at how the minimum wage looks like in each of the provinces. But first,

What Is A Minimum Wage?

The minimum wage is the lowest hourly pay rate that an employer can pay an employee as stipulated by law, whether they work full-time or part-time.

Who Sets The Minimum Wage Rate?

The Canadian constitution empowers each of the ten provinces to enact and enforce labour laws, including minimum wage. Therefore, each of the regions reviews its current minimum wage rate to increase or stagnate the rate.

As a result of this, every Canadian employer is required by legislation to pay all their employees the minimum wage set by the province where they work. Also, federal workers are paid the general adult minimum wage rate of the province in which the work is performed.

Minimum Wage Rate by Province 

Alberta

Alberta’s economy thrives in several industries, including education, agriculture, tourism, forestry, oil and gas, and manufacturing. With an estimated population of 4,421,876 as of the 2020 quarterly estimate, Alberta is the fourth largest province in Canada by population. 

The minimum wage for general employees in Alberta is $15 per hour, while the minimum wage for students under 18 years is pegged at $13 per hour. Since 2015, Alberta’s minimum wage has increased, making it the highest in Canada.

Alberta Minimum Wage Chronology

Effective DateHourly Rate (C$)
September 1, 20119.40
September 1, 20129.75
September 1, 20139.95
September 1, 201410.20
October 1, 201511.20
October 1, 201612.20
October 1, 201713.60
October 1, 201815.00
October 1, 201815.00
(Students under 18)
June 26, 201915.00
June 26, 201913.00
(Students under 18)

Alberta Minimum Wage Rules

With the general minimum wage at $15 per hour, Alberta’s employers must pay at least the minimum wage rate. These rates do not include tips or expense money.

Alberta Minimum Wage Exceptions

  • The minimum wage for students under 18 years is $13 per hour. This new rate applies to the first 28 hours worked in a week when school is in session. Any hours of overtime exceeding 28 hours must be paid with the $15 per hour minimum wage.
  • Salespersons, including land agents, architects, accountants, dentists, lawyers, and other professionals, are entitled to a weekly minimum wage of $598 per week.
  • Domestic employees who live in their employers’ homes are entitled to earn a minimum wage of C$2,848 per month.
  • Employees must be paid at least three hours of pay at the minimum wage rate each time they go to work, even if they’re sent home after less than three hours.
  • Employers can make maximum deductions of $4.41 per night of lodging and $3.35 per meal consumed by the employee.

Source: Alberta employment standards rates

British Columbia (BC)

According to Statistics Canada, the estimated population of British Columbia for the second quarter of 2020 is about 5,147,712 people, making it the third-largest province in Canada by population.

The minimum wage in British Columbia is $14.60 per hour.

British Columbia Chronology

As of 2020, the general minimum wage in BC is $14.60 per hour, with an estimated increase of 60 cents by June 1, 2021, to arrive at $15.20 per hour.

Effective DateHourly Rate (c$)
November 1, 20119.50
May 1, 201210.25
September 15, 201510.45
September 15, 201610.85
September 15, 201711.35
September 15, 201710.10
(Liquor Vendors)
June 1, 201812.65
June 1, 201811.40
(Liquor Vendors)
June 1, 201913.85
June 1, 201912.70
(Liquor Vendors)
June 1, 202014.60
June 1, 202013.95
(Liquor Vendors)
June 1, 202115.20
(Expected General Rate Increase)

Source: Minimum wage database

British Columbia Minimum Wage Rules

  • Minimum wage applies, regardless of how employees are paid –hourly. Incentive basis, salary, or commission.
  • Any employee’s wage below the minimum wage must be top up to be equal to the minimum rate for the hours they worked.
  • These rates exclude tips or gratuities.

BC Minimum Wage Exemptions

  • Effective June 1, 2020, live-in camp leaders are paid a daily rate of $116.86 for each day or part-day worked, which is expected to increase to $121.65 by June 1, 2021.
  • Live-in home support workers are paid a daily rate of $131.50 per day or part day worked.
  • Resident caretakers of apartment buildings containing 9 to 60 suites, effective June 1, 2020, are paid $876.35 per month plus 35.12 for each suite. This rate is expected to increase to $912.28 per month by June 1, 2021.
  • Effective June 1, 2020, resident caretakers of an apartment building containing more than 60 suites are paid $2985.04 per month, which is expected to increase to $3107.42 per month by June 1, 2021.

Ontario

Ontario’s second-quarter estimated population is 14,734,014, according to Statistics Canada. As a manufacturing hub with high GDP, the province has a high percentage of labor employment.

The current 2020 minimum wage in Ontario is $14.25 per hour, which came into effect on October 1, 2020, from its previous $14.00 per hour.

Ontario Minimum Wage Chronology

Effective DateHourly Rate (c$)
General Rate
Hourly Rate (c$)
(Students under 18)
Hourly Rate (c$)
Liquor Servers
March 31, 201010.25n.an.a
June 1, 201411.00n.an.a
October 1, 201511.25 n.a n.a
October 1, 201611.40 n.a n.a
October 1, 201711.6010.9010.10
October 1, 201814.0013.1512.20
October 1, 202014.2513.4012.45

Ontario Minimum Wage Rules

  • The minimum wage for students under 18 years who work 28 hours or less is $13.40 per hour as of October 1, 2020, a 15 cents improvement from its previous rate of $13.15 per hour.
  • Liquor servers’ minimum wage is $12.45 per hour from its previous rate of $12.20 per hour.
  • Hunting and fishing guides’ minimum wage is $71.30 for less than 5 consecutive hours in a day, an increase of $1.30 per hour.
  • Homeworkers’ minimum wage is $15.70 per hour, an improvement from its previous rate of $15.40 per hour.

Manitoba 

Manitoba’s quarterly population estimate is 1,379,263 people as of July 2020.

The current minimum wage in Manitoba is $11.90, which came into effect on October 1, 2020. The minimum wage is adjusted annually every October 1, based on the inflation rate in the province.

Manitoba Minimum Wage Chronology

Effective DateHourly Rate (c$)
October 1, 20109.50
October 1, 201110.00
October 1, 201210.25
October 1, 201310.45
October 1, 201410.70
October 1, 201511.00
October 1, 201711.15
October 1, 201811.35
October 1, 201911.65
October 1, 202011.90

Manitoba Minimum Wage Rules

  • The minimum wage applies to all employees regardless of age or number of hours worked.
  • Employees must be paid at least twice a month and within ten business days of the end of a pay period.
  • An employer’s maximum deductions are $1 for each meal and $7 per week for accommodation.

New Brunswick

The population of New Brunswick is put at 781,476 people, as of the 2020 second quarter population estimate.

The minimum wage in New Brunswick is $11.70 per hour, which came into effect on April 1, 2020. An increase in the minimum wage is based on the province’s consumer price index.

New Brunswick Minimum Wage Chronology

Effective DateHourly Rate (c$)
April 1, 20108.50
September 1, 20109.00
April 1, 20119.50
April 1, 201210.00
December 31, 201410.30
April 1, 201610.65
April 1, 201711.00
April 1, 201811.25
April 1, 201911.50
April 1, 202011.70

New Brunswick Minimum Wage Rules

  • The minimum overtime wage rate is $17.55 per hour, an improvement from its previous $16.88 per hour.
  • Employers can require their employees to work overtime hours, which must be properly compensated.
  • Effective April 1, 2020, to March 31, 20221, Canadian counselors and program staff at residential summer camps earn a minimum wage of $440 per week, which is expected to increase to $501.60 per week from April 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022.

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia’s estimated population for the second quarter of 2020 is 979,351, according to statistics Canada.

The minimum wage in Nova Scotia is $12.55, which came into effect on April 1, 2020, and is expected to increase to $13.10 by April 2021.

Nova Scotia Minimum Wage Chronology

Effective DateHourly Rate (c$)
April 1, 201110.00
April 1, 201210.15
April 1, 201310.30
April 1, 201410.40
April 1, 201510.60
April 1, 201610.70
April 1, 201710.85
April 1, 201811.00
April 1, 201911.55
April 1, 202012.55
April 1, 202113.10
(Expected Increase)

Nova Scotia Minimum Wage Rule

  • The minimum wage rate does not apply to certain employees, including insurance agents, fishing boat employees, real estate and car salespeople, certain farm employees, etc.
  • Employers are allowed to deduct:
  1. $68.20 per week for boards and lodging
  2. $55.55 per week for board only
  3. $15.45 per week for lodging only
  4. $3.65 for a single meal

Prince Edward Island (PEI)

Statistics Canada put the 2020 quarterly population estimate of Prince Edward Island at 159,625 people.

The minimum wage in Prince Edward Island is $12.85, which came to effect on April 1, 2020, and is expected to increase to $13.00 on April 1, 2021.

Prince Edward Island Minimum Wage Chronology

Effective Date Hourly Rate (c$)
April 1, 201210.00
June 1, 201410.20
October 1, 201410.35
July 1, 201510.50
June 1, 201610.75
October 1, 201611.00
April 1, 201711.25
April 1, 201811.55
April 1, 201912.25
April 1, 202012.85
April 1, 202113.00
(Expected Increase)

Prince Edward Island Minimum Wage Rules

  • Employee pay must not be less than the minimum wage rate after deductions.
  • Employers are allowed to make a maximum deduction of:
  1. $61.60 per week for board and lodging
  2. $49.50 per week for board only
  3. $27.50 per week for lodging only
  4. $4.13 per single meal

Newfoundland and Labrador

With an estimated population of 522,103 people, Newfoundland and Labrador is the ninth-largest province in Canada by population.

The minimum wage in Newfoundland and Labrador is $12.15, which came into effect on October 1, 2020.

Newfoundland and Labrador Minimum Wage Chronology

Effective DateHourly Rate (c$)
October 1, 201410.25
October 1, 201510.50
April 1, 201710.75
October 1, 201711.00
April 1, 201811.15
April 1, 201911.40
April 1, 202011.65
October 1, 202012.15

Newfoundland and Labrador Minimum Wage Exemptions

  • This minimum wage does not apply to live-in housekeepers or babysitters.
  • Overtime wage rate does not apply to farm employees.

Québec

Québec has an estimated population of 8,574,571, making it the second-largest province in Canada by population.

The minimum wage rate in Québec is $13.10 per hour, which came into effect on May 1, 2020.

Québec Minimum Wage Chronology

Effective DateHourly Rate (c$)
(General Rate)
Hourly Rate (c$)
(Employees Receiving Tips)
May 1, 20119.658.35
May 1, 20129.908.55
May 1, 201310.158.75
May 1, 201410.358.90
May 1, 201510.559.05
May 1, 201610.759.20
May 1, 201711.259.45
May 1, 201812.009.80
May 1, 201912.5010.05
May 1, 202013.1010.45

Québec Minimum Wage Rules

  • Raspberry pickers are paid $3.89 per kg.
  • Strawberry pickers are paid $1.04 per kg.
  • Employers of the clothing industry are paid $13.10 per hour.

Saskatchewan

The estimated population of Saskatchewan in the second quarter of 2020 is 1,178,681.

The minimum wage in Saskatchewan is $11.45, which came into effect on October 1, 2020. The minimum wage in this province is the lowest across Canada.

Saskatchewan Minimum Wage Chronology

Effective DateHourly Rate (c$)
September 1, 20119.50
December 1, 201210.00
December 1, 201410.20
October 1, 201510.50
October 1, 201610.72
October 1, 201710.96
October 1, 201811.06
October 1, 201911.32
October 1, 202011.45

Saskatchewan Minimum Wage Rules

  • Employers can deduct a maximum of $250 per month for room and board.
  • The minimum wage does not apply to come-in caregivers.

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Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.