Minimum wage in Ontario will be going up to $11 an hour as of June 1, 2014.
At a press conference, fittingly located in a small coffee shop, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the increase.
“We want to ensure that minimum wage keeps up with the cost of living, so that we can improve the standard of living for hard-working people,” said Wynne.
Some anti-poverty groups have argued minimum wage should go up to $14 an hour to take earners above the poverty line after taxes.
Wynne was accompanied by Labour Minister Yasir Naqvi who had previously said that raising minimum wage to $14 an hour would be “too much” for businesses to handle.
He also said that a sudden rise to $14 could hurt small businesses and force them to cut jobs.
Along with the increase, the province will review the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation every year and raise minimum wage based on that measure of inflation.
This change will be announced every April 1 and will be implemented on Oct. 1. This will allow minimum wage to increase as the cost of living increases as well.
Take a look at how the CPI has inflated over the past 5 years:
This 75-cent increase is the first since minimum wage was frozen at $10.25 in 2010. Before that there were annual increases since 2004 when minimum wage was $6.85.
Wynne said that the Liberal government made this decision with everyone in mind. She emphasized that people are working for minimum wage all over the province.