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
Four people are in police custody after Quebec businessman Daniel Langlois and his partner Dominique Marchand were found dead in Dominica.
Speaker Fergus apologizes, faces calls to resign over 'personal' video played at Ontario Liberal event
House of Commons Speaker Greg Fergus apologized to MPs on Monday about a 'personal' video tribute message played this weekend at the Ontario Liberal Party leadership convention, but two opposition parties say that's not enough and are now calling for him to resign over his 'unacceptable' participation in a partisan event.
In a unanimous vote Monday night, Moncton City Council passed a motion to immediately install the menorah and nativity scene outside of city hall.
The top executive at Sobeys asserted on Monday that Canada has one of the most competitive grocery retail sectors on the planet -- even as Canadians continue to feel the bite of higher prices.
With less than 50 days until Republican voters begin the process of determining their nominee to take on President Joe Biden, political analyst Eric Ham writes about a storm brewing within the GOP -- as super-donors align behind a surging candidate who could pose a threat to frontrunner Donald Trump.
A kangaroo that escaped the Oshawa Zoo during a one-night stay last week has been recaptured after more than three days on the loose.
George Santos already has a new gig. The former congressman, fresh off his historic expulsion last week, has created a Cameo account where the public can pay for a personalized video message.
A 70-year-old woman in Uganda has given birth to twins after receiving fertility treatment, making her one of the world's oldest new mothers.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and Radio-Canada will eliminate about 600 jobs and not fill an additional 200 vacancies. The cuts at CBC come days after the Liberal government suggested it may cap the amount of money CBC and Radio-Canada could get under a $100 million deal Ottawa recently signed with Google.
Quebec's prosecution service says it has abandoned criminal charges against Vincenzo Guzzo, CEO of a large independent movie theatre chain and investor on CBC Television's "Dragon's Den."
It's not winter in Montreal until the plow trucks roll in. The city was blanketed in a fresh blanket of snow over the weekend, and officials say they're ready to start clearing roads, sidewalks and bike paths.
'I almost contemplated pulling over and kicking them out': Sarnia, Ont. Uber driver raises concerns after drug use discovered in vehicle
A Sarnia Uber driver recently found evidence of drug use in his vehicle and turned to Uber for help with clean-up costs. Steven Cousins said a routine call took an odd turn on the afternoon of Nov. 30, 2023.
'This very easily could have been a fatal fire': Pet cat credited with saving owner's life during Exeter, Ont. fire
Damage was extensive to a duplex on Victoria Street in Exeter following an early morning fire — and the tenant's pet cat is credited with saving his life.
A tractor that remains embedded in a building in downtown Seaforth is expected to be removed on Dec. 7. It’s welcome news to downtown businesses who have been dealing with the partial closure of Main Street to traffic since the crash nearly two months ago.
Waterloo regional police are investigating an assault at a McDonald’s restaurant in Kitchener, where an employee reported being bitten by a dog.
Residents are rallying against a proposal to demolish low-income housing on Kitchener's Rainbow Row to make way for a new high-rise condo.
Demand for mobile and modular homes has increased as buyers look for more affordable housing. One big problem-- there's not enough park space available.
An increase in pet attacks has prompted a Sudbury city councillor to call for a re-evaluation of the consequences to deter owners from allowing their pets off the leash.
A collision Monday evening has closed Highway 17 between Iron Bridge and Thessalon.
Pat Ptaszynski has been in the flower business in Greater Sudbury for 73 years.
Ottawa's medical officer of health is warning that COVID-19 levels in the community are high and the number of people in hospital because of the disease is higher than it was at this time last year.
A Jewish organization says a bus service contracted to transport community members from Toronto to Ottawa for a pro-Israel rally did not show.
The Ottawa Police Service is investigating shooting threat messages that were sent to students at Garneau Catholic High School in Orléans.
Friends and family are mourning the loss of a 27-year-old Windsor man, who is being remembered as a loyal friend and loving father.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Forest Glade Drive was closed for a short period of time and has since reopened.
When it comes to the holiday season, who doesn’t want to shower their loved ones with lavish gifts? You shouldn’t, experts say, if it you plan on purchasing those presents with a credit card.
Three suspects are under arrest after a provincial police investigation in Clearview Township.
A Barrie man is speaking out after three of his family's vehicles and a neighbour's car were vandalized Saturday night.
As a growing number of locals are struggling to keep their heads above water financially, residents of South Muskoka came together Monday to help their own.
There were snowy roads and plenty of work for snow blowers and shovels for parts of the Maritimes on Monday as the region contends with the first heavy snowfall of December.
While attempting to sum up the life and career of Myles Goodwyn’s, five-time ECMA award winner Charlie A’Court said April Wine, which was led by Goodwyn, showed the world the high-level of music talent produced in Canada.
Four members of Chestermere city council, including the mayor, have been dismissed by Alberta’s government due to alleged irregular and improper governance of the city.
A pilot plan to change the daily school hours for students enrolled in the Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD) has been grounded, the board says.
Experts warn that Canada's 'super pigs' – a crossbreed of wild boars and domestic pigs – are quickly encroaching on mountain parks and communities in Alberta.
The Winnipeg man charged in connection with a mass shooting that killed four people served in the Canadian Armed Forces, CTV News has confirmed.
A 19-year-old man has been sentenced to 12 years in jail for his role in a 3D gun manufacturing and trafficking ring.
Winnipeg is seeing a 44 per cent spike in shoplifting incidents this year.
Harm reduction and recovery expert Guy Felicella said there are instances of people visiting the DTES to film those in vulnerable situations, solely for clicks and views, only to be monetized on social media platforms like YouTube.
A driver was arrested in Victoria on Sunday after nearly hitting a protester with a car during a pro-Palestinian rally outside the B.C. legislature.
Dash cam video captured the hair-raising moment a truck nearly struck a man standing on a foggy bridge in B.C.'s Lower Mainland.
Two 12-year-old girls were charged with assault in connection with the assault of a woman at an LRT station in late November.
The youngest children of an Alberta minister were injured in a crash last Friday.
While Edmonton's snow-and-ice road maintenance crews welcomed a chance to deal with work for which they trained Monday following a slight snowfall overnight, politicians and officials appreciate the unseasonably warm weather in helping keep costs down.