Ontario's minimum wage just went up. Here's what you need to know
Nearly a million minimum wage earners in Ontario got a pay bump today.
On Oct. 1, Ontario's minimum wage, the lowest wage employers are permitted to pay their workers per hour, rose from $15.50 to $16.55, a 6.8 per cent increase.
For a person earning the general minimum wage and working 40 hours a week, that equates to an annual raise of about $2,200.
Here's what you need to know about the new minimum wage:
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE PAY BUMP?
Almost all workers in Ontario are eligible for minimum wage.
An estimated 900,000 employees received the increase Sunday, according to Ontario's Ministry of Labour, spanning a number of employment types. Full-time, part-time, and casual employees are all eligible, alongside those paid an hourly rate, a piece rate, a flat rate, by commission, or by salary.
A list of select jobs exempt from the minimum wage provisions can be found on the Ontario government’s website.
WHAT IF I’M MID-WAY THROUGH A PAY PERIOD ON OCT. 1?
If a pay increase occurs partway through your pay period, the province says that “the pay period will be treated as if it were two separate pay periods and the employee will be entitled to at least the minimum wage that applies in each of those periods.”
WHAT ABOUT SPECIAL MINIMUM WAGES?
The student minimum wage, which applies to people under the age of 18 who work 28 hours a week or less when school is in session or during summer holidays, will see an hourly increase of $1, from $14.60 to $15.60.
Homeworkers, who do paid work out of their own homes for employers, will see a minimum wage increase of $1.15, from $17.05 to $18.20.
Hunting, fishing, and wilderness guides will go from $77.60 to $82.85 per day when working less than five consecutive hours in a day, and $155.25 to $165.75 per day when working five or more hours in a day.
HOW HAS THE MINIMUM WAGE CHANGED IN RECENT YEARS?
A $15 minimum wage was to take effect by 2019 in a plan developed by the previous Liberal government but Premier Doug Ford suspended that when he took office.
The province announced in 2021 that it would be boosting the minimum wage from $14.35 to $15 in January 2022. It was further bumped from $15 to $15.50 in October 2022.
Some labour advocates have called for the province to introduce a $20 minimum wage in Ontario.
“If Premier Ford had not canceled both the increase to $15 that was set for January 2019 and the cost of living adjustments for two years, we’d be much closer with a $17.95 minimum wage this year,” the Workers Action Centre wrote in a post back in March, when Sunday’s increase was first announced.
WILL ONTARIO’S MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE IN 2024?
According to the province, minimum wage rates stand to increase annually on Oct. 1. The province says that if new rates are to come into effect on Oct. 1, 2024, they will publicly announce so on or before April 1, 2024.
WHAT DOES THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY THINK?
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce said it is supportive of scheduled minimum wage increases tied to inflation rates as it “allows businesses time to prepare.”
“We support the principle of fair compensation and scheduled wage increases that are planned and done in close consultation with the business community so that businesses have time to plan and implement the changes,” Daniel Safayeni, the chamber’s vice-president of policy said in a written statement.
“We acutely recognize the affordability challenges faced by many workers who are struggling with the escalating cost of living. Ensuring the minimum wage keeps pace with rising inflation will help, in part, address affordability challenges at a time when Ontario is experiencing a record pace of net interprovincial migration losses.”
The statement went on to say that “amidst declining productivity,” wage increases must be accompanied by “greater investments from both the public and private sectors” to boost “productive capacity” and improve living standards for the residents of the province.
WHAT IS THE MINIMUM WAGE IN OTHER PARTS OF CANADA?
One province and one territory have higher minimum wage rates than Ontario. In B.C., the minimum wage is now $16.75 per hour and in the Yukon, it is $16.77.
Saskatchewan and New Brunswick have the lowest minimum wage rates at $14 and $14.75 respectively. Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Alberta, and Newfoundland and Labrador have all set the minimum wage at $15 per hour.
In Quebec, the lowest amount of money workers can be paid is $15.25 per hour, $0.05 lower than Manitoba’s minimum wage of $15.30. Nunavut has set its minimum wage at $16 per hour and in the Northwest Territories, the minimum wage is $16.05.
The federal minimum wage, which applies to federally regulated private sectors, including banks, postal and courier services, as well as interprovincial air, rail, road, and marine transportation, rose to $16.65 per hour on April 1, up from $15.55.
WHAT IS A LIVING WAGE?
Each year, the Ontario Living Wage Network analyzes the hourly earnings residents in the province would need to make in order to have an income that covers their cost of living. It found that the minimum wage in Ontario is significantly out of step with what is actually required to afford to live in the province.
In its latest report, the group discovered that in most regions of Ontario, the living wage was more than $19 an hour and more than $23 an hour in the Greater Toronto Area.
They noted that the calculations were made amid “a backdrop of record–breaking inflation and Consumer Price Index increases,” adding that “workers at the bottom end of the wage scale are most vulnerable to these kinds of fluctuations.”
“A living wage is an effective tool to combat working poverty by making sure that employees can make ends meet where they live,” the report stated.
“By incorporating expenses that a worker must cover, such as shelter, food, transportation and more, our living wages are much closer to reality than a politically set minimum wage.”
Another report published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives this summer found that two minimum wage workers in Toronto would not earn enough to reasonably afford a one-bedroom apartment in the city.
“The discrepancy between the rental wage and the minimum wage is such that, in most Canadian cities, minimum-wage earners are extremely unlikely to escape core housing need,” the report read. “They are likely spending too much on rent, living in units that are too small, or, in many cases, both.”
With files from CP24's Codi Wilson.
The Shopping Trends team is independent of the journalists at CTV News. We may earn a commission when you use our links to shop. Read about us.
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
A Minneapolis store clerk died after a customer beat him and impaled him with a golf club, police said. The 66-year-old clerk was attacked Friday at the Oak Grove Grocery, a small neighborhood store in a residential area near downtown Minneapolis. A 44-year-old suspect is jailed on suspicion of murder.
Mounties in Surrey, B.C., say the two-month-old child who was the subject of an Amber Alert Saturday afternoon has been found safe.
Shohei Ohtani has opted to stay in southern California, and the Toronto Blue Jays have missed out on landing a generational talent.
Kate Cox, a mother of two in Texas, became pregnant again in August but soon after learned devastating news: Her baby has a fatal condition and is likely to either be stillborn or die shortly after birth.
A group of foreign ministers from the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia and Turkiye are in Ottawa today for a quietly planned meeting with Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly to discuss attempts to end the Israel-Hamas war.
A jury has found Ibrahim Ali guilty of killing a 13-year-old girl whose body was found in a Burnaby, B.C., park in 2017.
Nuclear fission may play key role in the creation of heavy elements when neutron stars collide: study
New scientific models are suggesting that nuclear fission may play a key role in the creation of heavy elements in the universe—which, if true, would be the first example of nuclear fission occurring in space.
Here come Santa Clauses. Again. Throngs of people dressed as jolly Old St. Nick descended on New York City for the annual SantaCon charity pub crawl on Saturday.
An extremely rare white leucistic alligator has been born at a Florida reptile park. The 19.2-inch (49 cm) female slithered out of its shell and into the history books as one of a few known leucistic alligators, Gatorland Orlando said Thursday.
After sitting through the night, early Saturday morning, members of the Quebec legislature finally passed Bill 15 to reform the health-care network, voting 75 to 27.
A Pointe-Claire naturopath has been ordered by the courts to pay $125,000 in fines for the illegal practice of medicine and for leading people to believe that he was authorized to perform acts reserved for members of the Quebec College of Physicians.
Quebec's English-language universities have made what they call an 'improved' proposal to the Legault government regarding tuition fee increases for new international students and students from other Canadian provinces.
A London, Ont. man is facing charges in relation to a hit-and-run investigation.
One by one, London Jr. Mustangs’ hockey players dropped off presents for those in need this holiday season.
One person is facing criminal charges in connection to an alleged attempted murder investigation at a home in Grey Highlands.
Police are investigating a shooting in a Kitchener neighbourhood that sent one person to hospital.
A truck hit an ION train on Saturday morning, shutting down a Waterloo street.
A Christmas tree farm in Cambridge, Ont. has developed a new type of netting that’s better for the environment.
A driver is accused of travelling more than 70km/h over the speed limit on Highway 11 on Friday, provincial police say.
Shohei Ohtani has opted to stay in southern California, and the Toronto Blue Jays have missed out on landing a generational talent.
A 65-year-old driver from L'Île-Cadieux, Que. is facing multiple charges following an incident on Highway 11 Wednesday evening.
Ontario Provincial Police say charges have been laid following a "major assault" early Saturday morning in Arnprior.
Pro-Palestine supporters gather in Ottawa to call for permanent ceasefire as bombing in Gaza continues
As the Israel-Hamas war enters its third month, pro-Palestine groups gathered in Ottawa for the ninth straight weekend to call for a ceasefire in Gaza.
The holiday season is in full swing in the nation's capital with Christmas just over two weeks away.
Windsor Police Service held a RIDE check in Windsor and Amherstburg Friday night
Brian Masse, the NDP MP for Windsor-West, participated in non-stop voting for more than 30 hours on a Liberal spending bill.
CTV News has learned the tower on the Canadian side of the Gordie Howe International Bridge has now reached its full height.
OPP seized a large quantity of hard drugs after stopping a vehicle in the wee hours of the morning in Orillia.
Thanks to the hard work of their snowmakers, Blue Mountain officially opened their ski hills on Thursday.
Ontario Provincial Police is seeking the public's assistance in solving a break-and-enter in Midland.
An early morning fire has shaken the homeless encampment at Grand Parade in downtown Halifax.
The Queens District RCMP has arrested a 20-year-old man after a fatal collision in P.E.I. left three people dead and three others seriously injured.
The New Brunswick government has given the American Iron and Metal Company (AIM) a deadline of December 22 to offer a response to the release of a task force review into a massive scrapyard fire that happened in Saint John this September.
On the second day of Hanukkah, Temple B’Nai Tikvah marked it by going green, lighting a menorah using its array of solar panels.
With just over two weeks to go until Christmas, Calgary small business owners are hopeful to cash in on much-needed sales to stay afloat.
Calgary police launched their holiday checkstop campaign Friday night.
With inflation still high and the cost of living skyrocketing, some vendors at craft and Christmas bazaars are struggling to market their markets. This is prompting many small businesses in Manitoba to make a plea to purchase locally.
A newly-created non-profit group is attempting to give out three times more holiday hampers this year, as the high cost of living leaves many Manitobans struggling this holiday season.
'Different ways they can support': Dream Book gives Manitobans the chance to make kids' dreams come true
The Dream Factory has launched its annual holiday campaign, offering Manitobans the chance to sponsor a dream for a child facing a life-threatening illness.
The Union Gospel Mission served around 3,000 plates of turkey at its annual Christmas meal on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside Saturday.
A winter storm brought a wind warning to B.C.'s capital and snowfall warnings for parts of its largest metro area Saturday.
A winter storm that brought wind, rain and – in some places – snow to the South Coast led BC Ferries to cancel several sailings on major routes Saturday.
Farmer's livelihoods can be affected by the vagaries of nature, crop or animal disease and even distant wars, but often they find themselves silenced by the stigma surrounding mental illness.
Evan Bouchard has been red hot from the blue line for the Edmonton Oilers of late.
Finance Minister Nate Horner — after promising any stand-alone Alberta pension plan would not follow the contentious Quebec model, then saying it might, then saying it won't — told reporters Friday that possibility is back on the table.