Minimum wage increases to $16.55 in Ontario

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Published September 29, 2023 at 10:23 am

minimum wage increase ontario

The minimum wage increases to $16.55 in Ontario starting this weekend.

As announced earlier this year, the provincial government will increase the minimum wage from $15.50 to $16.55 per hour starting on Oct. 1.

This 6.8 per cent raise could provide people with $2,200 a year, David Piccini, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, said in a statement. It brings Ontario to one of the highest minimum wages in the country, Piccini said.

The highest minimum wage is in the Yukon at $16.77. British Columbia is a close second at $16.75, according to the Retail Council of Canada.

As inflation has increased the cost of living, many labour advocates and opposition critics have suggested the minimum wage should be more than $20 an hour.

A living wage for the Greater Toronto Area is $23.15, according to the Ontario Living Wage Network.

But Piccini said the minimum wage jobs should be for the start of a worker’s career, not the end. He said the government is helping people get better jobs with bigger paycheques.

The minimum wage increase comes through the Working for Workers Act, 2023, which includes several other changes.

The act will increase health and safety fines; it prohibits employers from withholding their passport, and it bans unfair or discriminatory Canadian work experience requirements in more than 30 regulated professions.

It also improves leave for military reservists; protects remote workers during mass layoffs; it requires women’s-only washrooms on construction sites, and protective equipment that actually fits them; and it expands cancer coverage for firefighters.

Piccini indicated there will be more legislation coming for workers in the future.

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