Voices: Ontario’s Minimum Wage Increase

By: Laura Steiner

Eva Mende- Gibson owns Blink of an Eye photography in Milton Ontario.  She supports the minimum wage increase.  “As the cost of living increases, there needs to be an increase in minimum wage,” she said.  The provincial government has proposed legislation that would raise the minimum wage to $15.00/ hr.

Mende-Gibson employs one person. “I currently pay my employee above the minimum wage already.” She adds that she believes in fair pay.  “If your employees feel valued with their salary, they will (hopefully) feel more satisfied and valued as working members of any business.    Current minimum wage in Ontario is $11.40/hr.  The legislation calls for it to be increased to $14.00 as of January 1, 2018.

The issue she sees with the legislation is with student wage.  “Students are sadly overlooked, and currently make several dollars less per hour on a legal student wage.”  Ontario’s current student wage is $10.70/hr, and is scheduled to rise to $10.90/hr as of October 1, 2017.

The legislation calls for an increase to $13.15/ hr for students working 28 hours or less per week as of January 1, 2018. It will rise to $14.10/hr as of January 1, 2019,  .90 cents lower than minimum wage for adults. “Equal work should mean equal pay,” Mende-Gibson asserted.

The wage increase is part of a package of reforms brought forward by Labour Minister Kevin Flynn known as the “Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act” (or bill 148).  It passed its first reading June 1, 2017.