Ontario raises minimum wage to $11 an hour
Ontario’s Liberal government is raising the minimum wage to $11 an hour, promising annual increases will be tied to the rate of inflation, but critics say it’s not enough to lift workers out of poverty.
Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the 75-cent-an-hour hike Thursday — the first minimum wage increase in the province since 2010 — calling it a “fair adjustment” that reflects the rise in the Consumer Price Index.
“I think the vast majority of people in Ontario understand that it’s very difficult to make ends meet living on minimum wage, and that there needs to be a fair way of allowing minimum wage to keep up with the cost of living.” she said.
Anti-poverty activists and unions have been demanding an immediate increase to a $14-an-hour minimum wage, but the government has said that would hurt businesses and end up reducing jobs.
The Ontario Convenience Stores Association admitted some of its members won’t like the $11 dollar minimum wage, “but it’s better than $14,” said CEO Dave Bryans.
“Some of our members might be upset, but there’s an adjustment period,” he said. “Many people get their first jobs at convenience stores or the fast food sector, and I believe it’s time that everybody had a fair wage.”
However, the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association warned the 75-cent hike will result in fewer jobs, especially among youth, calling it “unnecessary, tough for small business and counter-productive.”
The Retail Council of Canada said it likes the plan to link future hikes to inflation, but complained about using the Consumer Price Index to determine a catch-up raise for the past four years. (source: CBC News)