(Montreal) The announced increase in the minimum wage in Quebec will come into effect on Monday. It will go from $14.25 to $15.25 per hour.

According to the Ministry of Labor, some 298,900 employees will benefit from this increase, including 164,100 women, particularly in areas such as retail trade, catering and accommodation.

The Government of Quebec had announced this increase of $1 per hour, specifying that it made it possible to maintain the target of 50% of the average hourly wage “while taking into account the evolution of the economic context”.

But the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, which brings together small and medium-sized businesses, says it’s “another increase on top of” those for electricity, raw materials and other rates.

“What worries us is the accumulation” of increases, which ends up weighing on the shoulders of SMEs. And, ultimately, it helps drive up the price of the products. “Small business is going to be weakened,” believes François Vincent, vice-president for Quebec at CFIB.

“It has a domino effect. If I have a part-time student, at the starting salary which is the minimum wage… it is clear that there is going to be pressure from other employees to receive the same treatment,” argued Mr. Vincent. .

He would have liked the Quebec government to at least support SMEs by revising the taxation of this type of business.

At the Collective for a Quebec Without Poverty, Virginie Larivière believes, on the contrary, that such an increase is not sufficient, with the inflation that is rampant.

Labor and social groups that then launched the “Minimum 15” campaign are now calling for the minimum wage to be raised to $18 an hour.

“That’s the minimum threshold. This is a claim that we have been making for two years. Of course, with the inflation of recent years, we can think that $18 an hour is not even enough to think of being out of poverty,” argues Ms. Larivière.

“We still have to ask ourselves: do we in Quebec want to maintain the discourse that it is through work that we get out of poverty? she concludes.