Ontario reforms labour laws, boosts minimum wage to $15 in 2019

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TORONTO — 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.

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.

Allison Jones, The Canadian Press

29 COMMENTS

  1. So I get $15 an hour, pay more in taxes so I’m actually making less money than I am now and the price of everything goes up so I can’t afford to live! Perfect! I wish people who had money would stop making these decisions for me and actually learn to live off what they are doing to us

  2. We want lower taxes not hgher wages. It’s degrading that a burger flipper moves closer to a wage of a skilled worker and that worker’s values are diminished because thet don’t get an increase. So if he/she is now getting say $23 now eg should they not be worth $30 to $31 by 2019. If taxes were lowered it would create more dissposable income for all levels of income

  3. “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.” :'( 💔

  4. Well we will be paying 5 buck for a loaf of bread 5 dollar for a dozen eggs 3 buck for a coffee so higher wages is not the answer it just mean more taxes for the government and higher food prices etc etc etc .

  5. She is a special kind of stupid, one that we can’t wait to get rid of.
    Watch the pink slips roll out by the thousands.
    You thought this town was hurting already???

    • If you could back that claim up with credible proof, that’d be greaaaaaat. For instance, look to the OTHER places in the world that have INCREASED minimum wage and watch what happens afterward – you’d be surprised.

      Prices don’t shoot up, and the working poor ACTUALLY gets a chance to LIVE. Which is why it’s called a LIVING wage.

      Holy moly, some people would rather watch their neighbours starve while fat, rich businessmen get richer on their dollar.

      No, let’s keep the working class poor, and the rich class . . well, I don’t care what happens to them, but if you pay working people a living wage then Ontario’s gonna be a worse place to live. Pffft.

    • am not saying not to raise it but slowly and jolly who will set up shop here if they have to pay 15 bucks a hour nobody.You will get trickle down effects higher gas prices and food. Companies moving out of canada.I am sure other countries have it which is all good but here in Canada it will be bad

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