Ontario to raise minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2019

Posted June 01, 2017

The Ontario government is set to announce a raise to the minimum wage on Tuesday, as it details major changes to the province's labour laws.

"Our hope is that the changes announced today will be part of a broader and ongoing effort by the government to bring Ontario's labour laws into the 21 century by providing more fairness for workers", says Meinema.

The Changing Workplaces review concluded that new technology, a shrinking manufacturing sector and fewer union jobs, among other factors, have left approximately one-third of Ontario's 6.6 million workers vulnerable.

Wynne wouldn't confirm Monday if her government is planning to raise the minimum wage from the current $11.40 to $15 an hour, as labour groups have been calling for.

Measures proposed by the province also include mandating equal pay for part-time and full-time workers, according to a news release.

Wynne argues Ontario's economy is now strong enough to justify a boost for low-wage workers and turns aside claims that it will hurt businesses. "We congratulate the Liberals and a pat on the back to Ontario workers making their voice heard through the process".

It also suggested employees in fast food and retail outlets should be able to organize in "multi-employer bargaining" units to give workers at competing burger restaurants and chain stores more clout.

It will rise from $11.40 now to $11.60 in October.

"It has always been a challenge to raise a family on a minimum wage job. but in recent years it has become nearly impossible", Wynne said.

"Right now, 10 per cent of workers in our province earn the minimum wage of $11.40".

As well as moving forward with legislation on the issues identified in the changing workplaces review, the government must set a $15 minimum wage immediately across the province.

-Equal pay would be mandated for part-time workers doing the same job as a full-time workers.

"We want our businesses to be competitive", she said.

Making employee scheduling fairer, will include requiring employees to be paid for three hours of work if their shift is cancelled within 48 hours of its scheduled start time.

Interestingly one thing the report did not mention was an increase in minimum wage rates.

The government will also propose measures to expand family leaves and make certain that employees are not misclassified as independent contractors.

A press release from Wynne's office says Ontario's economy has outpaced "all G7 countries in terms of real GDP growth".

The surprise pharmacare announcement a few weeks ago (combined with ongoing efforts to wrestle down electricity costs) served, implicitly, as her reply: she was committed, and going to introduce ambitious, expensive, and expansive new policies in a bid to convince voters she understood their needs.

Labour unions and anti-poverty activists across the country have always been calling for a higher minimum wage as a way to reduce inequality and help low-income Canadians.

"Increasing the minimum wage will make a world of difference in millions of lives", she said.

She's spending our money like a drunken sailor to win that election, although, as several of our readers have pointed out, that's an insult to drunken sailors because they spend their own money.