Ontario minimum wage to increase to $11 an hour

Minimum wage earners will make $11 an hour starting June 1. (Courtesy Rebecca Sedore)

Minimum wage earners will make $11 an hour starting June 1. (Courtesy Rebecca Sedore)

Ontario’s minimum wage will be raised to $11.00 from $10.25, Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne announced Jan. 30.

The change will be effective June 1, 2014.

“We want to make sure that minimum wage keeps up with the standard of living,” Wynne said at the Centre for Social Innovation in Toronto. The increase will come after a four-year minimum wage freeze.

After these changes in legislation, the minimum wage could go up each year according standard of living changes.

Based on a consensus report conducted by the Canadian Labour and Business Centre, the wage increase will also take inflation rates into account, which will be indexed based on the cost of living and written into the Employment Standards Act.

Businesses will receive a six-month notice about wage increases, which, according to Wynne, will give “predictability” to businesses.

“The vast majority of people in Ontario understand that it’s very hard to make ends meet,” she said. “This is a fair adjustment.”

Enes Adose works part time at Cineplex, getting paid $10.25 an hour. The third-year civil engineering student says that the only upside to her job are the free movies she receives.

“For me (this increase) is good. It’s about time, to be honest,” Adose said. “You can’t get through life on minimum wage. For me, it’s fine because all I have to worry about is my phone bill and food, but if you’re a single mom or someone depending on minimum wage, it’s too hard. You can’t do it.”

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