In the summer of 2013 — three years after the provincial government froze Ontario’s minimum wage at $10.25 an hour — the Ministry of Labour struck an advisory panel to “examine the current approach to setting the minimum wage and to provide advice on how to adjust Ontario’s minimum wage.” Upon striking the panel, the government stated: “Addressing the minimum wage is a key part of the Ontario government’s strategy to build a stronger economy, a more prosperous province and help the most vulnerable.” (Ministry of Labour, 2013). The panel consists of representatives from business, worker, labour and youth organizations. After consulting with Ontarians across the province, the panel will report to the Ontario government by December 2013. This paper proposes a core benchmark against which to set the minimum wage: 60% of the average industrial wage, which would be roughly $14.50 today. Once the benchmark is reached, it proposes that the minimum wage be adjusted annually for inflation. This is an approach that balances the needs of vulnerable workers with the dual goal of shared prosperity and ensuring that every job in Ontario is a good job.
A Benchmark for Setting Ontario's Minimum Wage
November 14, 2013