Jul 10, 2017

By Jane Brown

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A bid by the governing Liberals at Queen’s Park to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour goes for public feedback this week. The process begins Monday starting in Thunder Bay.

The current Ontario minimum wage is $11.40 an hour. Under the proposal, it would go up to $14 this January and $15 in January of 2019.

It’s a move that’s prompted concern from business owners, but a group of economists favours the idea.

Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid says a lot of thought went behind the plan.

“The premier listened very carefully as we went through this, the consideration of these initiatives to ensure that for instance with the minimum wage that there was a phase-in for it, so businesses will have some time to adjust,” explained Duguid.

The Liberal government’s proposed legislation also ensures equal pay for part-time workers, an increase in vacation entitlements and expanded personal emergency leave.

Fifty Canadian economists recently signed a letter in support of a 15 dollar minimum wage, saying the idea that it will kill jobs, raise prices and cause businesses to flee Ontario is fear-mongering that is out of line with the latest economic research.

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