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Minimum wage hike good but . . .

To a local anti-poverty group, the new minimum wage increase announced by the province is better than nothing – but it’s still not enough.
“A small increase to the minimum wage is better than no increase, but this move should not be confused with an effective strategy to reduce poverty,” Sheila Cranmer-Byng, co-ordinator of the Guelph & Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination, said in a news release.
The announcement that the Ontario government would be increasing the minimum wage from $10.25 to $11 per hour on June 1 also came with the promise that the government would introduce legislation tying future increases to the Consumer Price Index.
Although pleased to hear minimum wage increases will be tied to increases in the cost of living, the task force is disappointed that the rate remains low.
“The provincial government decision to raise the minimum wage to $11 an hour represents a lost opportunity to demonstrate real leadership in lifting people out of poverty,” task force co-chair David Thornley said in the release.
“While it restores the lost purchasing power that the poorest paid workers have experienced since the last increase in 2010, it does nothing to raise the bar in meeting society’s obligations to ensure that people working full-time can meet their most basic living costs,” he said.
The task force had called for a four-stage increase to the minimum wage that would have lifted full-time minimum-wage workers to the poverty line.
The government’s proposed minimum-wage legislation would act on the recommendations of Ontario’s Minimum Wage Advisory Panel, which travelled across the province holding public consultations last year.

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