Ontario to increase minimum wage to $15

Part-timers would get equal pay for the same work as full-time employees, and the minimum vacation under labour law would be increased to three paid weeks a year from two after an employee has five years with an employer.

That review by special advisers C. Michael Mitchell and John C. Murray made recommendations on improving work conditions in Ontario.

Clark, meanwhile, said Tuesday afternoon the Liberal government had yet to table the bill that will aim to implement all these changes, and as such he had little on which to comment.

That the report did not study minimum wage, or the costs of new paid leave will have on small businesses, is a glaring oversight, said Balsom.

It was just a few days ago they announced they were going to build you a high speed rail line along the Windsor/Toronto corridor, now it's raising the minimum wage.

"For instance, your employer will now be required to pay you three hours' wages if they cancel your shift with less than 48 hours' notice".

Canada's minimum wage now ranges from C$10.72 to C$13 provincially. The OFL will be engaging with the legislative committee and MPPs over the summer to ensure that the details of the proposed legislation will yield the desired outcome: delivering stability and fairness for all workers in Ontario.

The government also plans to introduce paid sick days for every worker.

"We should be making policy, reviewing and changing policy, based on a thorough economic impact analysis, which the province didn't do", said Mishka Balsom, CEO and president of the chamber.

More than a quarter of Ontario workers would receive a pay hike through the proposed increase to the minimum wage.

Jacqueline Thompson of LifeSpin said the moves could give more people a shot at putting a roof over their head.

"I, quite frankly, worry about unintended consequences - about the government mandating a ($15) minimum wage".

Small business operators and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce have said the increase in wages and other aspects of the changes will hurt them and result in layoffs and fewer employees hired.

Interestingly one thing the report did not mention was an increase in minimum wage rates. "Small businesses, who don't share the larger profit margins of big business, will be forced to make hard choices".

"Today's announcement highlights the importance of unions remaining actively engaged in the political process, as numerous reforms announced today are changes that UFCW has always been advocating for", says Shawn Haggerty, President of the UFCW Canada Ontario Provincial Council. "This is money that gets spent and invested right back in the community".

As Canada's leading union for retail and food workers, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW Canada) represents over 250,000 workers across the country - and more than 105,000 members in Ontario - working in the food retail and processing, agriculture, health care, security, and hospitality industries, as well as other sectors of the economy.

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