Ontario’s new adult minimum wage will be $16.55 on October 1, 2023
But it would have been much higher had Premier Ford & Monte McNaughton not reduced the minimum wage in 2019, say worker advocates.
Toronto – “Ontario’s adult minimum wage will be $16.55 an hour on October 1, 2023,” says Deena Ladd, Executive Director of the Workers’ Action Centre.” But no thanks to Doug Ford or Monte McNaughton.”
“Workers fought hard to win annual cost of living adjustments so the minimum wage doesn’t lose as much purchasing power each year when prices go up,” says Ladd, referring to the 2014 changes made to the Employment Standards Act that pegs the minimum wage to Ontario’s Consumer Price Index. “Given the current cost of living crisis and record-high annual inflation, these legislated adjustments are a lifeline for workers struggling to make ends meet.”
“So let’s be clear. There is no largesse on the part of the Premier or Labour minister. The legislation stipulates that Ontario’s adult minimum wage will be adjusted by the rate of inflation to $16.55 effective October 1, 2023 and the Ontario government has a statutory obligation to publish that fact no later than Saturday, April 1,” says Ladd.
“Ontario’s minimum wage is much lower than it should be,” explains Ladd. “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,” she adds.
“We did force Ford to restore the $15 minimum wage last year, but that doesn’t undo the damage he has inflicted on us. Workers lost thousands of dollars in direct wages, in CPP contributions and other entitlements like vacation pay and Employment Insurance. He even cut our wages by canceling the two employer-paid sick days we won back in 2018,” says Ladd. “That’s why we’re fighting for at least $20 an hour for every single worker in this province.”
Legislated formula for minimum wage:
Previous wage × [Index A/Index B] = Adjusted wage
Previous wage TIMES [Ontario Consumer Price Index (all-items) for the previous calendar year DIVIDED BY Ontario Consumer Price Index (all items) for the calendar year immediately preceding the previous calendar year] = Adjusted wage
$15.50 x [152.9/143.2] = $16.55 (rounded to the nearest 5 cents)
Workers affected by legislated minimum wage adjustments are available for comment.
For more information or to schedule an interview, please call Rajean Hoilett at 289-923-3534.