Back in May, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced that the province would be moving forward with a plan to increase minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2019. This makes it the second province in Canada to do that, following Alberta (which will establish the increase by October 2018).
While it may seem like a progressive idea on the surface, not everyone is convinced. Many people have taken to online forums to express their concerns about the 18-month plan. One Canadian man even posted an image that he believed was a good example of how businesses like Walmart are likely respond to the $15 minimum wage:
Essentially, the photo sends the message that an increased minimum wage will simply lead to more employees being let go and replaced by automation. The post was the subject of a fiery debate on 9GAG where it was posted, and everyone had mixed opinions.
Some question the validity of the post with the argument that the implementation of machines to replace jobs is inevitable regardless of an increased minimum wage. Others think the loss minimum wage jobs will have a detrimental effect on the many lives that rely on them for things like getting through school:
Wynne believes that plan champions low-wage workers and is appropriate to carry out now while the province is experiencing strong economic growth. "People are working longer, jobs are less secure, benefits are harder to come by and protections are fewer and fewer," she said. "In a time of change like this, when the very nature of work is being transformed, we need to make certain that our workers are treated fairly."
However, the plan has been met with much opposition since its reveal, especially from small business operators and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. They believe the increase in wage will only lead to more layoffs and less new hires.