Ontario's minimum wage is set to increase to $16.55 an hour on October 1, 2023. While this is technically a raise for those at the very bottom of the wage scale, it's still far short of the living wage anywhere in the province.
Despite small wage increases over the last few years, we know that "...64 per cent of Canadian workers have experienced real wage losses over the past two years, after adjusting for inflation" via a report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives economist David Macdonald.
Here's how the $1.05 raise compares to regional living wages:
Anytime the minimum wage goes up, the living wage is brought into the conversation for comparison. We're always happy to talk about our certified employers who are part of the network, but the living wage is also a useful tool to advocate for higher minimum wages as well.
We know that those who are working for minimum wages are not just entering the workforce. The majority are now over the age of twenty and have households to support and bills to pay. And if you're working full-time—even after this increase—you will be up to $230 short of making ends meet per week. What else is work for but to pay bills and survive? For most of it's earners, the minimum wage is a sentence of working poverty, and will remain so in October.