The Ford Government has followed through on something it once scrapped.
Premier Doug Ford announced on Tuesday that his government is raising the province’s minimum wage up from $14.35 an hour to 15 bucks flat. This is the same rate approved by the previous Liberal Government but scrapped once the Conservative party came into power.
This pay raise comes into effect on January 1, 2022. A full-time worker making the general minimum wage could see an annual earnings increase of $1,350 in 2022 under this proposed legislation.
“Ontario’s workers have been the unsung heroes of this pandemic, as they’ve stocked shelves, kept our supply chain moving and helped so many of us enjoy a meal among family and friends at a local restaurant,” said Premier Doug Ford. “When we asked labour leaders what their priorities were, increasing the minimum wage was at the top of the list. 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.”
Special minimum wage rates are also proposed to increase:
- Students under the age of 18 who work 28 hours a week or less when school is in session, or work during a school break or summer holidays would see an increase from $13.50 to $14.10 an hour.
- Homeworkers (those who do paid work out of their own homes for employers) would see an increase from $15.80 an hour to $16.50 an hour.
- Hunting and fishing guides currently have a minimum rate of $71.75 for working less than five consecutive hours in a day, and $143.55 for working five or more hours in a day. Their new proposed rate would be $75.00 for working less than five consecutive hours in a day, and $150.05 for working five or more hours in a day.
Ontario NDP Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath says this wage increase doesn’t cut it. “By cancelling the planned $15 minimum wage three years ago, Doug Ford has taken more than $5,300 out of the pockets of Ontario workers to date,” said Horwath. “The cost of everything has skyrocketed since then, like housing, auto insurance, food and gas, and $15 an hour isn’t nearly enough anymore. Workers need a bare minimum of $17 an hour to cover the cost of living.”
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business was caught off guard by this announcement. It says this will hurt small businesses struggling to recover from the pandemic.