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News   November 22, 2017   by Allison Jones, The Canadian Press

Minimum wage hikes official in Ontario

Ontario joins Alberta in pushing minimum wage to $15/hour. First jump to take place Jan. 1, 2018 and be in full effect one year later

Ontario has passed sweeping labour reform legislation, which includes increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Currently at $11.60 an hour, the minimum wage will rise under the legislation to $14 an hour on Jan. 1, with the increase to $15 coming in 2019.

The plan has proved largely popular in government polling and with labour advocates, though it is controversial with businesses, who say the increase is too fast and will lead to job losses.

The government and some economists argue that the hike will have some positive impact on the economy, as minimum wage earners get more spending power.

Read more:

What do jobbers think of the increase and how will prices be affected? Read Wage boosts to create chaos on page 15 of the July/August issue of Jobber News.

The Liberal government recently announced the provincial corporate tax rate for small businesses will be cut from 4.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent to help support businesses through the minimum wage transition, though Premier Kathleen Wynne said it was never intended to fully offset the impact.

The legislation also mandates equal pay for part-time workers, increases vacation entitlements and expands personal emergency leave.

It will form a key pillar of the Liberals’ re-election platform, with the premier tying it at nearly every opportunity to a theme of fairness, along with free tuition for low- and middle-income students, more child care spaces and pharmacare for youth.

The minimum wage increase is the centrepiece of the legislation and also the plank that has garnered the most attention. While the $15 rate is one labour advocates have been urging for years, and dozens of economists signed a letter in support of it, business groups have been pushing hard against it.

They say it will be difficult to absorb the increased costs over such a short time frame.

The province’s economic watchdog, the Financial Accountability Office, has estimated more than 50,000 people could lose their jobs due to the minimum wage increase.

A TD Bank report has estimated the minimum wage hike could cost the province’s economy as many as 90,000 jobs by 2020. And an analysis from the Keep Ontario Working Coalition concluded over 185,000 jobs could be impacted.

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3 Comments » for Minimum wage hikes official in Ontario
  1. Conal D says:

    Now I’m going to have to ask for a raise…..if a minimum wager is making slightly less than a skilled worker makes……then it will indeed cost every business that much more. As long as people spend more…it might trickle down but with today’s economic forecasts, people may be just squirreling away the extra money.

  2. Scott Merrithew says:

    As usual, Liberal management is misguided. Trying to increase wages without increasing revenue is foolish and short-sighted. Giving people a larger slice of the pie simply means the pie will feed fewer people. Business can only support a certain budget for wages. Increase the wages for some and others will lose their jobs. The solution is to grow the pie so there is more to go around. Revenue growth will recover when we remove or reduce the government imposed obstacles and burdens to doing business. Government interference only depresses the economy. Less government is good for everybody. Alberta and Ontario were once the economic powerhouses of Canada. Now look at us. What a shame.

  3. Bob Ward says:

    This wage increase is purely an election ploy to gain votes. Absolutely no regard to business was taken when this legislation was introduced. It will end up costing the government more in unemployment benefits. The additional costs of this will only be passed on to the consumers. What were they thinking? This will definitely drive up the cost of living. Congratulations to the provincial Liberals on introducing yet another damaging program to an already weak economy.

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