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$15 minimum wage?

The New Democrats are promising to bring back the minimum wage for federal employees if they form the next government.

NDP leader Tom Mulcair announced in Vancouver today that he would make the minimum wage for workers in federally regulated sectors $15 an hour.

Mulcair says the Liberals and Conservatives did nothing to raise the bar while in power, and he accused the Liberals of scrapping the federal minimum wage when they were in power in 1996.

"It is unacceptable in a country as rich as Canada that people can work full time and still live in poverty," he said. "It was a cynical move to begin with by the Liberals because instead of raising the bar, they lowered it."

He says although the affected workers only amount to a small per cent of Canada's overall workforce, raising their wage will pressure the provinces to do more.

"This leadership we are showing today by talking about a living wage — a $15-an-hour wage — will have positive repercussions on the provinces," he said.

Mulcair is also going to address Unifor, Canada's largest private sector union, which is meeting in Vancouver this weekend.

All three federal parties are going into political campaign mode, as the 2015 election is scheduled to take place just over a year from now.

Today's Vancouver announcement is the first in what is expected to be a number of NDP announcements as it rolls out detailed planks of its platform this fall.

It's also expected the New Democrats will unveil plans for a national child-care program and infrastructure investment.





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