In Ontario, the minimum wage rises by 10 cents an hour, an increase that critics reject as too low, which is essentially meaningless.
Legislation by the Government of Premier Doug Ford, known as the Making Ontario for Business Act, sets the rules for a 10-cent increase. Under that bill, the minimum wage will increase on October 1 from the province’s inflation rate in the previous calendar year.
The change would raise Ontario’s regular minimum wage to $ 14.35 per hour. Minimum wage rates for students under the age of 18 and for those who consume alcohol and receive advice are also rising by one paise to $ 13.50 and $ 12.55, respectively.
Brady Hacker, who earns a minimum wage on HS job-saving shelves at a grocery store in Windsor, derisively welcomes a 10-cent pay rise.
“If I’m honest I’m a little humiliated,” Hacker said in an interview. “It doesn’t make any real difference to anyone, especially considering how prices have been rising over the past few years.”
Hacker is paying his way to become a paralegal at St. Clair College through his studies. The size of the minimum wage infuriated him, especially at Ford.
“Considering that his government treats the better part of this epidemic with grocery store workers and other needy workers as complete heroes, how dare he?” Said the hacker.
News has asked Ontario Labor Minister Monte McNaughton about his 10-hour hike to minimum wage workers. He did not directly address wage increases, but spoke of Ontario’s labor shortage.
“I don’t want to create an economy of minimum wage jobs. That’s why, for example, I encourage people to go into skilled business,” McNaughton said at a news conference Monday.
“We need people to train for jobs that are more demanding so they can provide for their families,” he said.
NDP leader Andrea Horvath called McNaughton’s response abhorrent and said Ontario’s minimum wage should be at least $ 15 an hour.
Horvath said in an interview that the 10-cent increase “almost feels like an insult to injury.” “It doesn’t make any difference to people. It has to be more in line with what the costs are, because the costs are going up.”
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Horvath took the prime minister’s goal for the government’s minimum wage policies.
“Mr. Ford talks a lot about the little boy. But I don’t imagine you can make a living when you pay a decent wage,” Horvath said.
Shortly after winning the election in 2018, the Ford government froze the hourly minimum wage to $ 14, repealing the legislation and pushing it down to $ 15. The freeze remained in place until October 2020, after which the 25 cents increase per hour went into effect.
The sharpest increase in minimum wages in Ontario’s history came at the end of 2017 and early 2018, as Kathleen Wynne’s then Liberal government raised the rate to $ 2.40 an hour over a period of a few months.
According to Deena Ladd, executive director of the Workers Action Center, a Toronto-based labor advocacy firm, the 10 cents increase from Friday is not a real wage increase.
“It’s basically an adjustment to deal with inflation,” Ladd said in an interview. “We have a minimum wage that keeps people in poverty.”
Higher housing costs and the effects of the Kovid-19 epidemic mean many workers are doing many low-wage jobs to maintain their lives, Ladd said.
“When the vast majority of salaries you make go towards paying rent, you are constantly juggling all your other bills,” he said.
“Are you paying for your hydro this month? Are you paying your telephone bill? Are you able to afford the clothes your child needs?”
According to the most recent statistics available, Canada estimates that as of August, about 500,000 employees in Ontario were earning a minimum wage or less.
A 2017 report from the Ontario Legislature’s Office of Financial Accounting estimated that 1.6 million workers in the province were earning a minimum wage in 2019 if the rate was reduced to $ 15 an hour.