An advisory committee is recommending that Nova Scotia’s minimum wage be increased by 45 cents this spring. The Department of Environment and Labour released a report today, Jan. 9, from the Minimum Wage Review Committee that advises an increase from $7.15 to $7.60 per hour, effective April 1. The minister has 60 days to respond to the recommendation. The Labour Standards Code was changed in 2004 to establish the committee to review the province’s minimum wage annually. It comprises two employer and two employee representatives who consider fairness, cost of living trends, and the impact of wages on competitiveness. About 26,700 Nova Scotians (or 6.9 per cent of workers) currently work for minimum wage. The recommendation would increase the gross yearly income of people who work 40 hours per week by about 6 per cent, or $934 per year. The increase would give Nova Scotia the highest minimum wage of any Atlantic province. Prince Edward Island’s minimum wage will be $7.50 per hour on April 1, and New Brunswick’s will be $7.25 effective July 1. Newfoundland and Labrador’s minimum wage became $7 per hour on Jan. 1. The public has until Feb. 10 to comment on the advisory committee’s report. The report may be obtained or public comments submitted through the website at www.gov.ns.ca/enla or by calling 1-888-315-0110.