QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner released the following statement in response to the Premier government’s announcement of a minimum wage increase.
“People are hurting from a cost of living crisis that’s hitting the lowest-paid workers the hardest.
And it’s a slap in the face to minimum-wage workers that the Premier government pats themselves on the back for an increase that is far below a basic living wage.
An extra dollar is not going to make life affordable when minimum-wage earners cannot afford the average cost of a one- or two-bedroom apartment.
This government’s continued refusal to invest in affordability measures hurts families, newcomers, students, seniors and so many other Ontarians who deserve a livable income.
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.
And what about the nurses and healthcare workers who are struggling to keep our crumbling healthcare system intact, but continue to face wage restrictions under Bill 124?
What about the hundreds of thousands of Ontarians who are trapped in legislated poverty because of this government’s refusal to double social assistance rates?
It’s time to right this wrong. Ontarians need at least a $20 minimum wage and an affordable place to call home.”