Canada's Ontario province plans to raise minimum wage to C$15

Posted June 01, 2017

Under the government's plan, the minimum wage will rise to $14 an hour on January 1, 2018 and is set to increase to $15 the following year. The report looked at how work is becoming more precarious, and how technology, fewer manufacturing jobs, fewer union certified jobs, and other factors is making millions of Ontario workers in more vulnerable situations. It is also addressing other challenges that can come with part-time gigs: workers who now deal with last-minute scheduling changes will have a number of new rights, including mandatory pay for at least three hours of work if a shift is cancelled with less than 48 hours' notice.

The Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, and the Keep Ontario Working Coalition are calling on government to identify the scale of the impact of these changes so that businesses can be provided with the necessary support to transition to a new policy regime. "We congratulate the Liberals and a pat on the back to Ontario workers making their voice heard through the process". It will rise, as scheduled, with inflation from $11.40 now to $11.60 in October.

The OFL's campaign takes on issues of inequality in the workforce, and coincides with the province's "Changing Workplaces Review".

You may be sure that the talk among mom and pop businesses and others with one and two store operations is all about that $15-an-hour minimum wage. The province's Budget 2017 points out that 98 percent of all new jobs created since the recession have been full time, and 78 percent have had an above-average wage for their respective industries.

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Ontario is committed to moving forward in a balanced way.

In addition to the increase to minimum wage, the Liberal government is also moving ahead with an impressive package of labour reforms created to help lower-income workers.

Canadian Labour Congress President Hassan Yussuff noted "the Ontario economy is strong and these changes will only make it stronger by supporting workers and their families to make ends meet, decreasing turnover, and increasing productivity".

Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown wouldn't say if he would cancel the planned minimum wage increase to $15 if he wins the 2018 election, but echoed concerns of businesses groups who have called for an economic impact study on the proposed changes.

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She did not say Monday just how much the new minimum wage will be.

The government will also propose measures to expand family leaves and make certain that employees are not misclassified as independent contractors, ensuring they get the benefits they deserve. Former finance minister Greg Sorbara said she should consider resigning for the good of the party.

Wynne read from a letter she said was sent to her by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce during Tuesday's question and answer event. The Province notes that more than 25 per cent of all employees in Ontario will see their wages rise as a result of the minimum wage being increased. They also recently announced the beginnings of a provincial pharmacare plan, that would provide drug coverage to those below the age of 25.

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