Ontario’s minimum wage is increasing to over $16 this fall

Ontario’s minimum wage is set to rise to $16.55 an hour. (Courtesy: Canva)


Ontario’s minimum wage is going up to $16.55 an hour as of October 1. 

The provincial government made the announcement on Friday, and the increase is a 6.8 per cent raise from the current rate of $15.50 an hour. The last raise to the minimum wage came into effect on Oct. 1, 2022. 

The provincial government says the latest rise in pay will help with the growing cost of living. With this boost, an employee working 40 hours per week will see their pay increase by nearly $2,200 per year.

“Under the leadership of Premier Ford, our government is putting workers in the driver’s seat of their careers, and their lives,” Monte McNaughton, minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, said in a statement Friday. 

“This latest increase is a fair and balanced approach that means more money in their pockets so they can support their families and continuing building a stronger Ontario for all of us,” he added. 

Despite this increase, some advocates such as the movement, Justice for Workers, say it’s still not enough. 

“Ontario’s minimum wage is much lower than it should be,” Deena Ladd, executive director of the Workers’ Action Centre, said in a press release

“The minimum wage on October 1 would be $17.95 had Ford not canceled the $15 minimum wage back in January 2019. Instead, Ford cut the wage and suspended cost of living adjustments for 2 years. This was devastating for the people who desperately needed that money,” Ladd explained.

In fact, the Ontario Living Wage Network says the minimum wage in the Greater Toronto Area should be at $23.15 to keep up with inflation. 

READ MORE: Grocery prices spiked in February even as inflation cooled: StatCan

According to the government, 942,400 workers were earning $16.55 per hour or less in 2022, and the majority of this number were women.

Additionally, over 40 per cent of workers at or below the current general minimum wage of $15.50 per hour work in retail and almost 25 per cent are in accommodation and food services.

This increase means Ontario will have one of the highest minimum wages in the country. 

Ontario will only be second to Yukon where minimum wage is set to increase to $16.77 per hour on April 1. Meanwhile in other provinces, Quebec has a minimum wage of $14.25 an hour, British Columbia has a minimum wage of $15.65 an hour, and Alberta has a minimum wage of $15 an hour.

This announcement comes ahead of the federal minimum wage increasing to $16.65, as of April 1.



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