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Ontario annonced that its minimum wage will rise in October to keep pace with inflation. Photo: CC Benson Kua.

Increase part of last year’s decision to tie wages to inflation

The Ontario provincial government has increased its minimum wage from $11.25 to $11.40, announced on March 18. However the new minimum wage won’t come into effect until Oct. 1.

This comes after the Liberal government’s decision last fall to tie minimum wage rates to inflation. The new rules stipulate that the minimum wage must be indexed to inflation every year and announced before April 1, with the necessary changes coming into effect annually on Oct.1.

According to Gilles Grenier, an economics professor at the University of Ottawa, keeping minimum wage indexed to inflation means that minimum wage will “remain the same in real dollars every year.”

“It’s always been a controversial issue in Ontario,” said Grenier. He said that indexing the minimum wage to inflation was a compromise between opponents and proponents of raising minimum wage.

Ontario isn’t the only province where minimum wage is indexed to inflation—this is standard practice in Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

While the main minimum wage was increased to $11.40, some specific occupations will see a slightly different total.

Liquor servers’ minimum wage will increase to $9.90, and homeworkers’ minimum wage will increase to $12.55.

All of the information on these changes is posted on the Ontario government’s website.