GNWT announces minimum wage increase

R.J. Simpson is the minister of Education, Culture and Employment. (File photo/CKLB)

Starting in September, the minimum wage in the Northwest Territories will increase from $13.46 to $15.20 per hour.

R.J. Simpson, minister of Education, Culture and Employment, made the announcement in Thursday’s sitting of the Legislative Assembly.

He said once the increase kicks in on Sept. 1, the NWT will have the second highest minimum wage in Canada, after Nunavut.

The decision is based on research by the Minimum Wage Committee, a group of representatives from business, labour and community organizations that advises the minister of ECE.

However, the new rate is still well below the living wage estimate set out by Alternatives North.

In 2019, the organization determined the living hourly wage for a two-parent, two-child household to be: $23.95 in Yellowknife, $24.75 in Hay River, and $23.78 in Inuvik.

Alternatives North has also published a NWT Poverty Report Card 2020, which highlights several findings around poverty, especially in small communities.

Among the findings is that one in five households in the NWT “lacks the financial resources to achieve a basic standard of living.”

About the Author

Francis Tessier-Burns
Francis was a reporter with CKLB from January 2019 to March 2023. In his time with CKLB, he had the immense pleasure and honour of learning about northern Indigenous cultures.