Prior to the minimum wage increase, businesses hired young people out of the goodness of their hearts. That changed last October when the minimum wage increased to the same amount previously reserved for highly educated and experienced employees and those who looked like they had bills to pay.

Jason Kenney took to the microphone yesterday to suggest eateries could pay young people less money to do the same job.

30 and 40 year olds fist-bumped the bold move.

“I’ve been trying to get a minimum wage job in a restaurant for years now” said a woman with a liberal arts degree, “but those 15 year old kids really had the market cornered. I’m glad an Alberta politician finally started looking out for me”.

Kenney assured her he was not, in fact, looking out for people with liberal arts degrees but was instead advocating on behalf of people who used to work in the oilfield.

“Back in 2017” he said, “I made a video with a great guy, a regular Alberta pipe-fitter, who had to leave the province because people can’t be expected to survive on $20 an hour.” When asked if $20 was less than $15, Kenney responded that it was a “matter of perspective”.

“If a 17 year old high school student can make $15 an hour, why should a 25 year old single mother accept that?” Reminded that it was illegal for a business to ask about marital status or whether an applicant had children, Kenney appeared to find something more interesting on the floor.

Asked instead if his Party would mandate a minimum wage for single mothers he laughed heartily.

“We are not going to be a government that tells business to pay based on what employees need. We believe in the free market and the market cannot truly be free until they can legally discriminate against people based on age.”

Asked to then explain why liquor servers, who, by law, must be adults, should also make less money, Kenney said it came down to morality.

“A UCP government believes morality should take precedence in any business. If a business serves liquor, they shouldn’t have to pay a high minimum wage to anyone who would lower themselves to work there.”

When asked how morality factored into the fact that he was also willing to look at paying disabled people less money, Mr. Kenney responded that morals were part of a very complex decision-making process that made it reasonable to discriminate against people who weren’t likely to vote for his Party in the first place.

This post is satirical.

Deirdre Mitchell-MacLean

dmaclean@countersign.ca

@Mitchell_AB @thisweekinAB

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