Nov 02, 2021

By Bob Komsic

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Saying workers deserve to have more money in their pockets because they earned it, Doug Ford announced that the minimum wage in Ontario would rise to $15-per-hour January 1, 2022.
The announcement comes three years after the then newly elected Conservatives scrapped an increase to $15 that was to take effect in January 2019.
Ford defends the earlier decision saying it’s ”apples and oranges” due to COVID.
”Everyone’s been facing a challenge in the last 20 months,” Ford points out, while insisting ”things were a lot different in 2018, when he scrapped his Liberal predecessor’s plan.
Ford was flanked by UNIFOR President Jerry Dias and Ontario Public Service Employees Union President Warren ”Smokey” Thomas.
While admitting he’s had ”frustration” with the Tories, Dias calls this ”an incredibly important day.”
”Do I thinks $15 is wonderful? No. But do I think it’s a good start?  Yes,” Dias added.
OPSEU’s leader has had run-ins with Ford, but for the first time in dealing with three governments, Thomas says ”we actually have a government that actually is listening and doing some positive things.”
Meanwhile, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business says the timing of the wage hike couldn’t be worse, pointing out how small businesses are still trying to cope with the impact of the pandemic.  
The legislation to increase the minimum wage still needs to be approved in the legislature.
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