Saskatchewan’s Rising Cost of Living

Today’s Consumer Price Index provides further evidence of Saskatchewan’s rising cost of living. Among the provinces, Saskatchewan is tied for the second-highest annual inflation rate: 2.0%.

Consumer prices decreased in June from May in nine provinces (all except Alberta). But Saskatchewan was tied for the smallest monthly price decline: -0.3%.

Compared to the rest of Canada, Saskatchewan residents experienced nearly the largest increase in the cost of living over the past year and received a relatively small break last month.

The provincial government’s proposed labour law changes threaten to weaken the ability of workers to collectively bargain pay increases that keep pace with the rising cost of living. Saskatchewan now has Canada’s second-lowest minimum wage. The government should boost the minimum wage to a more reasonable level and then consistently increase it with inflation.

Erin Weir is an economist with the United Steelworkers union and a CCPA research associate.

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