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Ford Announces $15 Minimum Wage

The proposed legislation would also include people who serve liquor, who would now earn a $15 per hour minimum wage.

ONTARIO - The Ontario Government has officially announced a new minimum wage of $15 per hour in Ontario. 

Starting January 1, 2022 the general minimum wage will rise from $14.35 to $15.00 an hour. The special minimum wage rate for liquor services will also be eliminated under the proposed legislation. This would mean that servers would make the $15.00 an hour minimum wage. Students under 18, homeworkers and hunting, fishing and wilderness guides would also see an increase in their special minimum wage rates.

Premier Doug Ford says they understand it is harder than ever to make a living. 

"Ontario’s workers have been the unsung heroes of this pandemic, as they’ve stocked shelves, kept our supply chain moving and helped so many of us enjoy a meal among family and friends at a local restaurant. When we asked labour leaders what their priorities were, increasing the minimum wage was at the top of the list. As the cost of living continues to go up, our government is proud to be working for workers, putting more money into their pockets by increasing the minimum wage."

Liquor servers were often paid $12.55 an hour, on the belief that they make more on tips. However with tip pooling and less and less people going out to eat and drink, it has been even harder for servers to make ends meat. 

Minister of Labour Training and Skills Monte McNaughton says the cost of living has increased considerably over the past several months, but wages for many have not kept pace.

"Over the past few weeks, our government has rolled out a historic number of reforms to rebalance the scales. Building on these actions, today, our government is ensuring workers who need our help the most receive their fair share of the economic pie. We will continue to use every tool in our toolbox to help workers in our province find meaningful careers that let them earn themselves bigger paychecks and build better lives for themselves and their loved ones." 

Special minimum wage rates are also proposed to increase:

- Students under the age of 18 who work 28 hours a week or less when school is in session, or work during a school break or summer holidays would see an increase from $13.50 to $14.10 an hour.
- Homeworkers (those who do paid work out of their own homes for employers) would see an increase from $15.80 an hour to $16.50 an hour.
- Hunting and fishing guides currently have a minimum rate of $71.75 for working less than five consecutive hours in a day, and $143.55 for working five or more hours in a day. Their new proposed rate would be $75.00 for working less than five consecutive hours in a day, and $150.05 for working five or more hours in a day.

You can listen to the Premiers opening remarks from this morning below: 

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