Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Town of Pincher Creek to send letter to provincial government re minimum wage increase concerns

Christian Davis

At their December 2 meeting, the Town of Pincher Creek's Committee of the Whole (COTW) unanimously approved sending a letter to be signed by Mayor Don Anderberg to Alberta Minister of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labor Lori Sigurdson expressing concern about the potential impact of minimum wage increases on the business community.

The letter is in part a reaction to a November 23, 2015 delegation from Children's World Daycare Director (CWDS) Marie Meckelborg to the regular meeting of Town of Pincher Creek Council. Meckelborg expressed how minimum wage increases were affecting and are expected to affect the viability of the not for profit organization, and requested two months of rent relief for the space they lease from the Town. Later during that meeting Council decided to forgo charging CWDS rent for November and December 2015 and directed administration to draft the letter to Sigurdson. On December 2 the COTW discussed that it would also be appropriate to forward the letter to the Prime Minister, and to MP John Barlow and MLA Pat Stier.

The introduction from the draft version of the letter presented to the COTW reads " The Council for the Town of Pincher Creek would like to alert you to the impact that the present and future proposed minimum wage increases in Alberta can have on the business community. The Town Council has recognized the dire need for responsible child care availability n out community. As you are well aware in today's economy very few two parent families have the luxury of having a stay at home parent to provide daily child care, and for single families there is absolutely no choice but for the parent to go out to work. This leaves parents no option but to find the best, safest, and most affordable child care that they possibly can."

The draft version of the letter expands further on the situation CWDS finds itself in before concluding "Therefore, we would ask that you consider the repercussions of increasing the minimum wage in Alberta too quickly, particularly with the present economy and the slowdown of employment opportunities. In addition, we suggest that in conversation with the new Federal Government who campaigned on affordable child care services that they move quickly to introduce subsidies for this very important and necessary service."

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