Effective June 1, 2014, the general minimum wage in Ontario will increase from $10.25 to $11.00 per hour. The increase will result in Ontario and Nunavut having the highest minimum wage in Canada. The increase essentially accounts for inflation since the last minimum wage raise to $10.25 in 2010. The student minimum wage will also increase from $9.60 to $10.30 per hour.
The increase follows a report from a panel that was commissioned by the Ontario government to study the minimum wage. A key recommendation of the report was that the minimum wage be tied to the rate of inflation and be adjusted each year. Accordingly, the government has stated that it will be introducing legislation to tie future minimum wage increases to the Consumer Price Index to “ensure the minimum wage keeps up with the cost of living, and that increases are predictable for businesses and families.” The legislation would announce the increase on April 1st each year with an effective date of October 1st .
The government’s announcement was not unexpected, especially considering a recent government bill aimed at protecting “vulnerable workers”, which proposes major changes to workplace legislation.