TORONTO — Last week the B.C. government made plans to hike its minimum wage, and yesterday the Ontario government did the same, announcing that its general wage will rise from $11 to $11.25, effective Oct. 1.
This follows a minimum wage hike in Ontario last year (which saw an increase from $10.25 to $11) and is in line with legislation enacted last fall that links annual minimum wage bumps with Ontario’s Consumer Price Index (CPI). “Our government has taken politics out of minimum wage increases while ensuring wages for Ontario workers keep pace with inflation,” said Kevin Flynn, minister of Labour. “This puts more money in people’s pockets, gives our businesses predictability and helps build a more prosperous economy.”
The increase will also be reflected in special job categories, including that of liquor servers, whose wage will rise from $9.55 per hour to $9.80 per hour.
Toronto-based Restaurants Canada weighed in on the announcement. “Restaurants Canada commends the government for tying minimum wage to the rate of inflation. This takes the politics out of the rate setting and allows businesses to plan for and better adjust to the new rate,” said James Rilett, Restaurants Canada VP Ontario. He added: “While it is an improvement over the previous system, the extra labour costs added to the proposed payroll taxes continue to have a negative effect on restaurant profitability.”
This will mark the ninth time minimum wage has increased in 12 years. It will make Ontarians the second-highest minimum wage earners, behind Northwest Territories’ workers who will earn $12.50 per hour this June.