Story Filed by Taylor Ablett

More concerns about hiking the minimum wage in Ontario are being raised. Ontario’s Financial Accountability Office has said it’s not going to help reduce poverty despite raising labour income. That’s because only a quarter of the higher labour income would benefit low-income families, and it says that means it’s an inefficient tool to reduce poverty. The FAO also says the proposed wage hike would put 50,000 people out of work, mainly teens and young adults. It also says job loss numbers could be even higher than that estimate.

Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norm Miller has already raised similar concerns about the plan, as he recently reached out to local business owners to hear their thoughts on the plan. He says over 200 business owners in the Parry Sound/Muskoka area are concerned about the proposed wage hike, and may either raise prices, cut hours, or lay staff off. Around eight per cent of owners who responded to Miller’s survey say they would have to close if wages go up.

Bill 148 also requires employers to give their workers a minimum of 10 personal emergency leave days in a year, two of which have to be paid. It also requires equal pay for part-time employees doing the same job as full-time workers, and paying an employee for three hours if their shift is cancelled with less than two days notice.

Queen’s Park resumed this week and the Bill is expected to be voted on this fall.