The Chronicle Herald: Labour group rallies for higher minimum wage in Nova Scotia

Posted July 17, 2015

Advocacy groups are taking the battle for better wages right to a low-wage employer’s doorstep.
 
This Wednesday at 7 a.m., the Nova Scotia Fair Wage Coalition is leading a protest against minimum wage outside McDonald’s at 6324 Quinpool Rd.
 
The rally is meant to challenge one of Canada’s largest low-wage employers and argue that $10.60 an hour, the current minimum wage in Nova Scotia, is unacceptable.
 
“People can’t get by on minimum wage,” said Evan Coole, a coalition member.
 
“There’s a stereotype that only young people are paid minimum wage. But there are minimum wage workers in their 30s, 40s and 50s, struggling to support families.”
 
Earlier this year, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives pegged the living wage in Halifax — the amount workers need to afford food, housing, transportation, child care and other essentials — at $21.10 an hour.
 
Coole said a minimum wage of $15 an hour would be a huge improvement for workers.
 
“We have a lot of catching up to do with minimum wage. $15 an hour is a great step in the right direction.”
 
Darryl King, co-chairman of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now in Halifax, said a higher minimum wage would improve the quality of life for all workers.
 
“Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour will dramatically improve the standard of living for low-wage workers, which will raise standards for all workers,” he said in an email.
 
“It’s impossible to get by on minimum wage, whether you’re a student, supporting a family or even just yourself.”
 
Members of the Canadian Federation of Students, the Halifax-Dartmouth & District Labour Council and Solidarity Halifax will show their support at the protest as well.
 
“A $15-an-hour minimum wage is meeting in the middle,” said King.
 
“We need a living wage, but this would be a move in the right direction.”
 
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Article by Evan Webster for the Chronicle Herald