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Minimum wage increase will cost jobs

Published in the Barrie Examiner, 27 September 2017

Re: “Opposition without solid solution disappointing (Peter Silveira, Barre Examiner, Sept 14):

I don’t think anyone disagrees with raising the minimum wage, especially at the rate of inflation. Obviously employers can’t pay their workers in 2017 the same wage they were paid in 1987.

The major problem is that wages will go up 32% within 15 months; a shockingly high increase in such a short period. How many people out there have gotten anywhere near that kind of a raise in a similar period? Even the public sector unions don’t have the chutzpah to ask for such an increase and we all know the outrageous demands they sometimes make.

Additionally, employers will be required to make corresponding increases in their contributions to CPP and Employment insurance for their workers.

Minimum wage jobs are mainly unskilled, entry level jobs.

This is besides the fact that most long-term employees will eventually rise up through the pay scale with their employer, most minimum wage workers are either students or recent graduates, seniors supplementing their retirement income or those who are supplementing their partner’s higher salary.

An overwhelming majority of minimum wage workers aren’t the primary breadwinners in their household. A majority (60.3%) are either teenagers or young adults, 86% of whom live with their parents or other relatives, while 19% are married with employed spouses. Nearly all (90%) of those employed spouses earn more than minimum wage.

Speaking of rising up through the pay scales, there is no doubt that those workers currently at or near the $15 wage will expect a corresponding increase in their wages too and deservedly so. How could an employer defend paying an employee minimum wage when prior to January 2019, they were significantly above minimum wage? Even those who have busted their butts getting up to the $20 mark will likely feel cheated.

Premier Wynne is completely tone-deaf to the damage this unnecessarily rapid increase will do to the economy and employment levels. Her government continues to insist that the minimum wage increase will result in 15, 000 new jobs.

However, the non-partisan Financial Accountability office, the provincial budget watchdog, released their report on 12 September showing that there will be a loss of at least 50, 000 jobs. The ones who will feel the brunt of this disaster-in-waiting will be Ontario teens and young adults, while failing to address the real issues of poverty.

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce released their own report, stating that 185, 000 jobs could be at risk.

If there is any justice, Wynne and her fellow Liberals will be turfed from office next year for even proposing this increase, on top of all the other damage her government has done to this province.

Sadly, even if Wynne were to machine-gun puppies on the lawn of Queen’s Park every day until the next election, I’m not thoroughly convinced she will lose. She’s a wiley campaigner and the Progressive Conservatives do have a knack for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

The editorial comic by Sue Dewar that appeared in The Sun the morning after the last election perfectly summed up my own reaction to hearing that Wynne had won: Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!

We can only hope that the thousands of workers who suddenly find themselves unemployed due to this reckless decision will use the extra time they have on their hands to get down to their nearest polling station and vote her government out of office. We’ll see.

Additional sources: “Wynne wages will hurt young people,” Patrick Brown, Toronto Sun, 13 September 2017, Re: “Minimum wage hike is bad news,” Jane Stevenson (Toronto Sun, Sept 19).

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/minimum-wage-increase-will-cost-jobs/

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