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Students and business owner react to new youth minimum wage

May 29, 2019

While students say the youth minimum wage is discriminatory, a business owner is keen to hire more young workers.

Alberta is cutting the minimum wage for youth workers from $15 to $13-an-hour.  It is part of Premier Jason Kenney's Open for Business Act which will potentially take effect on June 26.

The lower wage would apply to young people aged 13 to 17 who work 28 hours or less a week.

Some students at Lethbridge Collegiate Institute were opposed to the idea of a lower wage because they feel they should not earn less for doing the same job as an adult.  One student was supportive of the lower wage, having been on the job hunt for over two years with no success.

MLA for Lethbridge-East, Nathan Neudorf said during his campaign that the reduced wage will help employers offset costs and time associated with hiring unskilled workers.  Work ethic, punctuality, attitude, customer service, and work safety are some of the things that skilled workers bring to the table, and price the unskilled workers out of the market.

Kenney said the new wage will be passed via an order in council.

Lethbridge