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Canada  

Quebec raising min wage

Quebec will raise the province's minimum wage to $12 an hour as of May 1, Labour Minister Dominique Vien announced Wednesday.

More than 352,000 workers stand to benefit from the 75-cent increase, the largest hike in Quebec history.

Vien said in a statement the rise is in line with a four-year plan to have the minimum wage equivalent to 50 per cent of the average provincial hourly wage by 2020, without exceeding that level.

Quebec's thriving economy has also helped the average hourly salary rise more quickly than anticipated, she added.

"The good economic performance of Quebec allows us to substantially raise the minimum wage," Vien said.

"This increase will improve the quality of life for low-income workers as well as promote the incentive to work, raise the amount of disposable income and contribute to lowering the rate of poverty, without harming the job market and competitiveness of our businesses."

The raise represents between $462 and $979 in the pocketbooks of minimum wage earners, depending on hours worked and family situation.

At $12, Quebec's minimum wage would be the third highest in the country behind Alberta's and Ontario's.

Ontario raised its minimum hourly wage to $14 per hour on Jan. 1 and plans another increase to $15 next January.

Alberta's minimum wage is expected to rise to $15 later this year.



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