Canada's Ontario province plans to raise minimum wage to C$15

Province to raise minimum wage, update labour laws Tuesday: Wynne

It will rise with inflation, as scheduled, from $11.40 now to $11.60 in October.

The increase to minimum wage will be phased in over the next 18 months, rising to $14 per hour on January 1, 2018.

Wynne would not confirm if her government is planning to raise the minimum wage - which is now $11.40 an hour and adjusted for inflation - to $15, as labour groups have been calling for.

She did not say Monday just how much the new minimum wage will be.

Alberta's NDP government has announced a $15.00 minimum wage would take effect in October 2018. California recently introduced a $15 minumum wage, and economists say there have been few negative repercussions.

"(This announcement) is going to benefit all workers in London - unionized workers, non-unionized workers, young people", she said. "It's always about them and their own political fortunes and what works for them politically, while for 14 years they've done nothing to address the erosion of people's standard of living". New technology, a shrinking manufacturing sector and fewer union jobs, among other factors, have left about one-third of Ontario's 6.6 million workers vulnerable, the review concluded.

The government will also propose measures to expand family leaves and make certain that employees are not misclassified as independent contractors.

It also suggested employees in fast food and retail outlets should be able to organize in "multi-employer bargaining" units to give workers at competing burger restaurants and chain stores more clout.

Part-time, temporary, casual and seasonal workers in Ontario will now receive equal pay for equal work, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced.

If you're earning minimum wage in Ontario, get ready for a very big raise.

"We heard that enforcement is key to making this work - so we're stepping that up", said Wynne.

However, there is some concern about the impact the changes could have on small businesses and the agricultural sector. "Small businesses, who don't share the larger profit margins of big business, will be forced to make hard choices, including cutting hours and jobs". "There is still time for the province to build on these reforms and empower Ontarians with full rights in the workplace by enacting card check certification, automatic first contract arbitration, and sectoral bargaining for all industries, as well as extending coverage under the Labour Relations Act to include all workers in Ontario".

"We are interested in all initiatives that can improve the quality of life of Quebecers but keep the economy improving at the same time", he said.

"This money that goes to bread, it goes to diapers, it goes to bus fares, it goes to rent", he said. They're also ones that make it easier for women, who still undertake far more child and family care, to work, as they allow for more flexible participation in workplaces.

The CFIB and other business groups have some grounds to be irritated: in 2014 the government said it was taking the politics out of the minimum wage by raising it, then promising - no backsies - that they'd only increase it following a set inflation formula from then on.

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