Earlier this year, the Liberal government announced that they would be raising minimum wage incrementally. The plan was to start off by taking the current $11.60 an hour, to $14 an hour by 2018 and then to $15 in January, 2019. The news of this wage increase has been met with mixed reactions - some excited about the prospective of a livable minimum wage and others fearful and upset about the effects this could have on job availability.
The largest group to be affected, are the small businesses operating in the province, who will now be dishing out a larger portion of their earnings to employee wages. In order to combat their worries over the minimum wage increase, the government has created new tax breaks to help them along the way. Yet, many Ontario businesses aren't feeling reassured.
The Progressive Conservative Party though, announced that if elected in 2018, they plan to slow down the increase in minimum wage by a few years. Instead of implementing the full increase by 2019, they aim to do a 25 cents increase over the next four years.
Conservative MPP John Yakabuski stated that, "We think it's the responsible thing to do... We recognize that there is a need to raise wages here in the province of Ontario because it's this government that has driven up the cost of living for those very people."
It's been said that the Liberal's minimum wage increase could cost the province up to 50,000 jobs which would inevitably disadvantage Canadians. However the Liberals have responded to this criticism saying that the Conservative's plan to wait four year for a $15 an hour wage increase is ludicrous.
Ontario's NDP leader Andrea Horwath even chimed in saying, "We are in favour of a minimum wage increase, we have been for a long time but the fact that the Conservatives are saying people have to wait another four years before $15 minimum wage is in place in Ontario shows how utterly out of touch that party is."