Ontario's minimum wage is officially going up next month
Ontario's minimum wage increases to $15 on Jan. 1, 2022, but for many people the boost is too little, too late.
In November, the Ontario government said it was increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour, effective Jan. 1, 2022. This announcement came about a month after the province bumped up the minimum wage a measly 10 cents to $14.35.
Under the previous Liberal government, the minimum wage would have increased to $15 in 2019, but that plan was scrapped by Ford when he was elected in 2018.
"As the cost of living continues to go up, our government is proud to be working for workers, putting more money into their pockets by increasing the minimum wage," Premier Doug Ford said when announcing that the wage would at long last go up to $15 in November of this year.
Most people agree even $15 an hour is not enough to live on, particularly with the price of everything increasing and housing costs reaching record highs in Toronto.
Biggest is that the new minimum wage will come into effect on Jan 1...which is SOME timing given how Omicron has impacted businesses and the min wage workforce. $15 is for sure a step forward, but we should be aiming for LIVING wage & a plan to support businesses in providing it. https://t.co/VYQ1tJHpZw— Sarah Boesveld (@sarahboesveld) December 29, 2021
The wage hike also includes increasing liquor servers' minimum wage from $12.55 per hour to the harmonized $15 per hour.
With inflation, however, these measures are moving too slowly.
When I started working in #ontario in 2001 minimum wage was $8.65. I get the same as $6.85 in 2021— ChillingWithSchilling (@chillwithschill) December 29, 2021
$1 in 2021 would have been worth $1.57 in 2001.
Everything costs 50%+ more than it did 20 years ago, and #odsp pays less than the bare minimum back then #onpoli @fordnation
"Minimum wage would have to be $20 today to afford workers a decent quality of life," said one person on Twitter.
While many people think $15 is too low, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce says the change is too quick for business owners already impacted by lockdowns.
"The way the proposed changes are being implemented, leaving employers with less than two months to plan, will have considerable administrative and financial impact amidst a pandemic and after 20 months of duress and uncertainty," the Chamber says.
No doubt times are tough for small businesses, but as people struggle to pay bills and buy food, a fair wage should be the bare minimum employers offer.
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