Ontario and federal minimum wages increasing

Ontario's minimum wage will rise later this year to $17.20 an hour.
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Ontario's minimum wage will rise later this year to $17.20 an hour.

The annual Oct. 1 increase is tied to inflation and is a boost of 3.9% from the current rate of $16.55 per hour. Labour Minister David Piccini says the government is giving businesses certainty and predictability by announcing the increase six months in advance.

The government says the new minimum wage rate will be the second highest of the provinces, behind British Columbia's $17.40 per hour. 

The Ontario Living Wage Network says a living wage in the Greater Toronto Area is around $25 an hour.

The Progressive Conservatives cancelled a planned minimum wage increase from $14 to $15 per hour after they took office in 2018, then raised it to $15 in January of 2022 and tied later increases to inflation.

READ:  Quebec’s minimum wage going up on May 1

On the heels of Ontario’s minimum wage announcement, the federal government minimum wage increased to $17:30, up from $16.65 on April 1. The adjustment is meant to reflect the 3.9% increase in Canada's annual average Consumer Price Index for 2023 and is aligned with inflation.

Approximately 30,000 employees in the federally regulated private sector will benefit from this raise. Employers are required to adjust their payroll information accordingly to ensure that all employees, including interns, receive the correct hourly wage starting April 1, 2024. Should the provincial or territorial minimum wage rate exceed the federal rate, employers must pay the higher of the two.

"Everyone's feeling the pinch of inflation. So, wages must keep up with the cost of living," says Minister of Labour and Seniors, Seamus O'Regan Jr. 

The Government of Canada introduced the federal minimum wage in 2021. It is adjusted annually based on Canada's annual average Consumer Price Index from the previous calendar year. In 2022, the federal minimum wage was increased to $15.55, and in 2023, it was increased to $16.65.

With files from The Canadian Press and Employment and Social Development Canada

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