New increase, same story

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. 

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  • Steve Smith
    commented 2023-10-11 00:42:34 -0400
    It’s disheartening to see that despite the forthcoming increase in Ontario’s minimum wage, it still falls far short of providing a living wage in the province. As you rightly point out, this increment hardly addresses the needs of the workers, many of whom are adults with families and responsibilities.

    The statistics presented by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives are indeed concerning. The fact that a significant portion of Canadian workers have faced real wage losses, even after adjusting for inflation, paints a challenging picture. It’s clear that we need to rethink the adequacy of the minimum wage in today’s economic landscape.

    The living wage, as you mentioned, is not just a talking point but a crucial tool for advocating for fairer wages. It’s a stark reminder that many hardworking individuals, despite putting in long hours, still struggle to make ends meet. It’s a matter of basic dignity and fairness that people should earn enough to cover their expenses and provide for their families.

    Thank you for shedding light on this issue, and let’s hope for more significant changes in the future to ensure that work truly becomes a means of improving lives, not just scraping by.
  • Craig Pickthorne
    published this page in News 2023-04-10 09:12:02 -0400