Ontario Raises Minimum Wage

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TORONTO — The Ontario government has announced it will increase the minimum wage to $11 in June to reflect the rise in the Consumer Price Index since the last increase in 2010.

The hourly rate, formerly $10.25, will match Nunavut’s as the highest minimum wage in the country.

“Increasing the minimum wage will help improve the standard of living for hardworking people across the province, while ensuring businesses have the predictability necessary to plan for the future,” said Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.

The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) is concerned the raised hourly rate will impact small businesses by costing the average Ontario restaurant $9,440 per year, an increase of seven per cent. “On one hand, the government is doing the right thing by giving our members the ability to plan for increases, but on the other hand they mandate a large increase that wasn’t planned for,” said James Rilett, VP, Ontario for the CRFA, who also warned the hike will affect young job seekers. “This will increase costs to the restaurant industry by $287 million at a time when our members are being hit with a raft of other cost increases.”

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