Skip to main content

Today, readers are responding to Jason Kenney cutting minimum wage for teenage workers in Alberta. The change makes the province one of two jurisdictions in Canada – Ontario is the other – that allow employers to pay younger workers less than their adult counterparts. Beginning on June 26, the minimum wage for students will be $13 an hour compared to $15 for adults.

Mr. Kenney said increasing the minimum wage in the middle of an economic downturn hurt small businesses and made finding work more difficult for young people.Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

TortureTest:

This policy makes sense. No matter your political view, one can easily understand that there is a difference between a kid in grade 11 or 12 and a 35-year-old. A difference in what they offer an employer and a difference in their needs. This policy reflects that.

CitizenWhoPaysTaxesNotTaxPayer:

What a nice way to say "We don't care about you." You’ve got to love the Conservative’s “People last” mentality. Pretty sure none of those students will be voting UCP unless they grow up to be rich, company-owning conservatives.

Opiedog:

So give lower wages to people who can’t vote yet. The key word is yet, by the next election these kids 15 and older will remember the disrespect and disservice to them by the Kenney government does he think that these people will forget how they have been treated when they collaborate and vote anyone but conservative. That’s a lot of votes to potentially lose, good luck Jason Kenney, it’s a brilliant strategy.

Mike5 in response:

These kids will grow up and start paying taxes, then they will understand.

Zuglo9:

Kenney actually said "$13 is a lot more than $0." In other words $13 is a lot better than what, slavery? Ok $13 is not that bad but as a politician Kenney needs to exercise much better control of what he says.

TCampbell24 in response:

He means $13 is better than no job, which is often the alternative when labor is too expensive

Luv2ski:

So do we end up with low skill employees being laid off at age 18 so the employer can hire cheaper labour? Just wondering.

Replayer in response:

Ideally the entry level job that they held as high school students has given them work experience that will allow another job. The real challenge with a high minimum wage is that nobody in their right mind would hire a naive, inexperienced student to work at a wage for which they could hire an experienced adult.

Keep your Opinions sharp and informed. Get the Opinion newsletter.

From the Comments is designed to highlight interesting and thoughtful contributions from our readers. Some comments have been edited for clarity. Everyone can read the comments but only subscribers will be able to contribute. Thank you to everyone furthering debate across our site.