Although there are mixed reviews on a possible two-tiered system, the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) sees the value of Higgs’ proposition. “Small businesses in New Brunswick, particularly during an economic downturn, have been hit hard by the 21 per cent increase in minimum wage implemented by the previous government,” says Luc Erjavec, CRFA’s vice-president, Atlantic Canada. “A two-tier wage system recognizes the high cost of training inexperienced workers and significant income earned by tipped employees and could help employers create new jobs across the province.”
Meanwhile, Reid Manore, who operates a Tim Hortons shop in Fredericton, had a different opinion for CBC News. “I think it would be unfair to have a 17-year-old student working alongside a 19-year old employee and not be paid a similar amount, if they’sre doing the same job,” he told the newspaper, adding that he didn’t think the savings would be worth it in the long run.
Currently, there are plans to increase New Brunswick’s base hourly rate in September, from $9 to $10.