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Ontario to raise minimum wage in the fall


The Ford government says it will be raising Ontario’s minimum wage by 65 cents in the fall.

Starting on Oct. 1, minimum pay in the province will be $17.20 per hour, up from the current minimum wage of $16.55.

The province said in a release Thursday that the 3.9 per cent annualized wage increase is based on the Ontario Consumer Price Index (CPI) and brings Ontario’s minimum wage to the second highest in Canada.

The increase comes amid an affordability crisis in the province.

Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development David Piccini said in a release that the move will help close to 1 million Ontarians earn more.

"We are providing businesses with certainty and predictability by announcing this annual wage increase six months in advance, while also helping families offset the rising cost of living, so that Ontario continues to be the best place to live, work and raise a family," Piccini said in a statement.

A worker making the general minimum wage and working 40 hours per week, the government says, will see an annual pay increase of up to $1,355.

There were 935,600 workers earning at or below $17.20 per hour in 2023, most of them in retail and accommodation and food services, according to the government.

The province announced the move the same day as its annual sunshine list was released, revealing the top-earning government-paid workers in the province.

The move will make Ontario's minimum wage the second highest in Canada after British Colombia, where the minimum wage is $17.40.

Minimum wage in the province went up by more than a dollar to $16.55 last year, from a previous minimum of $15.50.

Ontario's announcement about a bump to its minimum wage comes just days before the federal minimum wage is set to go up by 65 cents to $17.30 per hour. The move affects workers in federally-regulated industries.

While the bump will surely be welcomed by workers, some research suggests that it still falls short of what it takes to get by amid unprecedented hikes in the costs of housing and food.

A report released by the Ontario Living Wage Network (OLWN) in November pegged the minimum "living wage" a worker living in the GTA needs to cover their expenses at $25.05 per hour.

-          With files from The Canadian Press Top Stories

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