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.
After seven weeks held hostage in the tunnels of Gaza, they are finally free to laugh and chat and play. But some of the children who have come back from captivity are still reluctant to raise their voices above a whisper.
City workers in Kyiv on Saturday dismantled an equestrian statue of a Red Army commander, the latest Soviet monument to be removed in the Ukrainian capital since Russia launched its full-scale invasion last year.
Activists designated Saturday a day of protest at the COP28 summit in Dubai. But the rules of the game in the tightly controlled United Arab Emirates meant sharp restrictions on what demonstrators could say, where they could walk and what their signs could portray.
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.
The Conservative-prompted filibuster in the House of Commons ended Friday night, after MPs spent nearly 30 hours voting non-stop on the government's spending plans.
New U.S. aid for Ukraine by year-end seems increasingly out of reach as GOP ties it to border security
A deal to provide further U.S. assistance to Ukraine by year-end appears to be increasingly out of reach for President Joe Biden. The impasse is deepening in Congress despite dire warnings from the White House about the consequences of inaction as Republicans insist on pairing the aid with changes to America's immigration and border policies.
Israeli warplanes struck parts of the Gaza Strip in relentless bombardment Saturday, hitting some of the dwindling bits of land it had told Palestinians to evacuate to in the territory's south. The strikes came a day after the United States vetoed a United Nations resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza, despite its wide support.
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.
A 34-year-old man has been charged with the second-degree murder of an 18-month-old toddler at a home daycare centre in the Lanaudiere region.
One person is facing criminal charges in connection to an alleged attempted murder investigation at a home in Grey Highlands.
London, Ont. might experience record-breaking temperatures, with a high of 14 degrees possible on Saturday. The record temperature for Dec. 9 was set in 1946 at 12.2 degrees.
'They stole my son, and they owe it to us to turn themselves in': A family’s plea to hit-and-run driver
Christine and Jeremy Empey are still coming to terms with the loss of their son Dominik, and adding to their pain is the fact the person responsible drove away and still hasn't come forward.
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.
One person is facing criminal charges in connection to an alleged attempted murder investigation at a home in Grey Highlands.
There is some optimism in the tea leaves this holiday season even as high prices and interest rates pinch the pockets of Ontarians – that’s the message from industry experts.
The federal government announced this week that international students who apply for a study permit will need to show they have more than $20,000 to cover their tuition and living expenses.
The average cost to rent a one-bedroom apartment in Ottawa surpassed $2,100 a month in November, as the average price of an apartment hit the highest levels of 2023.
Ontario Provincial Police are investigating what they're only calling a "major disturbance" in the Arnprior area.
A driver is facing a 90-day licence suspension after crashing into a ditch off the Queensway.
Chatham-Kent police were called to investigate a robbery that took place shortly after noon on Friday.
Michael Dunn and his family spent Saturday morning giving away free food – no questions asked.
With new red light cameras, the town of Innisfil is trying to protect drivers and pedestrians at the intersection of County Road 27 and Highway 89.
Multiple residents in Barrie's east end had their holiday decorations targeted and destroyed overnight.
A man is dead after being shot by police officers amid a domestic disturbance north of Toronto Thursday night, the province’s police watchdog says.
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.
A community takeover of two major tent encampments in the Halifax region sheds light on the gravity of the homeless crisis, but also exposes a contrast between the swift community mobilization and the government's sluggish response.
A strengthening low pressure system will move out of the northeastern U.S., across northern New Brunswick, and over the Gaspe Peninsula of Quebec on Monday.
Firefighters dealt with a water main break in southwest Calgary Friday night.
Catching a ride on the CTrain will cost a bit more in 2024.
The Calgary Hitmen fell behind early Friday night in Prince Alberta, and could never quite catch up, dropping a 4-3 decision to the Raiders.
Ben Hernandez's impact on the community went far beyond his business – something his family saw firsthand when the community learned of his death, prompting an outpouring of memories and tributes have been pouring in from the community.
The Trans-Canada Highway has been closed across much of western Manitoba as a winter storm rolls in Friday evening.
A looming strike for Winnipeg Transit workers has been avoided following a vote on a new deal this week.
The B.C. RCMP is seeking to return or dispose of thousands of pieces of evidence seized during the investigation into serial killer Robert Pickton, prompting concerns from advocates for missing and murdered women.
Mounties in Penticton are asking the public for help identifying a man in a Seattle Seahawks sweatshirt who they say assaulted an 85-year-old over parking in the city this week.
Evan Bouchard has been red hot from the blue line for the Edmonton Oilers of late.
An independent review into a prescribed fire that led to evacuations in a popular tourist town in Banff National Park has made a series of recommendations to try to prevent it from happening again.
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.