Ontario to cap minimum wage at $14 an hour
The Ontario government said new rules – which will link future minimum-wage increases to the inflation rate and reduce the number of personal leave days – will help cut red tape and encourage business investment.
Ontario will cap minimum wage at $14 an hour until fall 2020 as part of a rollback of labour reforms introduced by the previous Liberal regime, the Progressive Conservative government announced on Oct. 23.
As reported by The Canadian Press, the move drew praise from businesses and criticism from unions and anti-poverty advocates.
The government said new rules – which will link future minimum-wage increases to the inflation rate and reduce the number of personal leave days – will help cut red tape and encourage business investment.
“The previous government brought in a tsunami of new burdens and regulations that have imposed significant unnecessary costs on businesses and stifled economic growth,” Economic Development Minister Jim Wilson said in a statement.
Ontario’s minimum wage increased from $11.60 to $14 an hour on Jan. 1, and was set to rise to $15 an hour next year as a result of the Liberals’ labour laws. Under the government’s new legislation, it will remain at $14 until October 2020.
If passed, the government’s labour bill will also cut two paid personal leave days for workers, bringing their total to eight: three for personal illness, two for bereavement leave, and three for family responsibilities.
“This legislation will go a long way to maintaining the viability of small and medium businesses in the province and will help us save jobs,” Jocelyn Bamford, of the Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers, said in a statement.
Others were more critical, however. “We’ve known for a long time that Doug Ford is no friend of workers,” said Ontario Federation of Labour president Chris Buckley. “With today’s announcement he’s proven exactly that.”