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Ontario Minimum Wage Is Rising This Fall For The First Time Since January 2018

Still a long way off 2018's promise, though.

It can be hard to make a consistent living on minimum wage earnings at the best of times. But there is some sort of improvement coming, even if it's pretty small. The provincial government is raising the Ontario minimum wage on October 1 for the first time since January 2018.

On October 1, 2020, the minimum amount a worker has to be paid is rising by 25 cents per hour, per the government's website.

That will be the first increase in nearly two years, and will roughly represent a $2-per-day climb in earnings for provincial minimum- and student-wage earners.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development told Narcity in an email: "This change was long-planned, fulfilling a commitment made by the government in 2018 to tie the minimum wage to inflation.

"These steady, predictable increases offer businesses certainty, allowing them to plan, grow and create more jobs. Our province’s workers and employers deserve a minimum wage determined by economics, not politics."

According to Ministry data, the rate has risen 20% over the last three years while inflation has only climbed 6%.

So, Ontario's current $14 minimum wage will now be $14.25 as of October 2020.

For students in the province under 18 years of age, the minimum rate will climb to $13.40 per hour.

And, for liquor servers, that 25-cent hike will raise their hourly pay to $12.45.

While that increase will make a difference to some low-income workers, it's still pretty far from Kathleen Wynne's Liberal government's proposal before Premier Doug Ford took over.

Back then, when the $14 wage came into effect in January 2018, the plan was for it to rise again to $15 in January 2019.

According to a Toronto Star article back in 2018, The Campaign Research survey found that 52% of voters at the time were against Ford stopping that dollar increase. It was ultimately frozen until October 2020.

This increase is just one of the many that will be occurring across the country come October.

In particular, Ontario's raise will pale in comparison to Nunavut's. Canada's largest territory is bumping its own up to a rate of $16 an hour.

That means a Nunavut worker being paid for a full eight-hour day would earn $14 more than a Toronto counterpart.

So, basically, Torontonian minimum-wage earners will be working one hour of every day for free compared to those in Canada's largest territory, even with the slight pay bump.

At least it's finally moving on up again, eh?

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