QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner released the following statement in response to the Premier’s announcement on raising the minimum wage:
“The Premier is yet again flip-flopping with a delayed and lukewarm minimum wage increase.
It is good that the government has finally seen the light and revoked his previous cancellation of the minimum wage increase to $15/hour.
But it’s not enough to make life affordable for people.
We need a living wage for workers in this province. We need more affordable housing so workers receiving minimum wage can afford to rent or buy a home.
It’s ridiculous that it takes a minimum wage worker in Toronto a 79-hour work week just to afford a one bedroom apartment.
And what about nurses, healthcare workers and other essential workers who have sacrificed so much during COVID-19, but continue to face wage restrictions under Bill 124?
By announcing this minimum wage increase with less than 2 months notice, the Premier is completely disregarding the needs of struggling small businesses who deserve advanced notice and more financial support to get through the pandemic.
Small businesses, with an average debt of $190,000, need another round of funding with expanded eligibility from the Small Business Support Grant.
The Premier needs to get it right. Self-praise for a delayed and half-hearted flip-flop is not what Ontario needs. Ontarians need a living wage and an affordable place to call home; small businesses need support; and nurses need Bill 124 repealed. Let’s get to work.”