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By Dries Van Thielen
As more and more states in the US are introducing and raising the minimum wage, it looks as though Canada did not want to lag behind. As of 2019, Ontario will be introducing a mandatory minimum wage of $15 per hour, thus becoming the second Canadian state to do so, with Alberta being the first.
The increase will take place over a two-year span. By January 2018, Ontario wants to increase to $14/hour and they hope to climb to $15/hour by the following year. The current mandatory minimum wage is $11.40/hour.
“People are working longer, jobs are less secure, benefits are harder to come by and protections are fewer and fewer,” Wynne told CBC. “In a time of change like this, when the very nature of work is being transformed, we need to make certain that our workers are treated fairly.”
These reforms go along with broader reforms. It is part of the “Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act,” which aims to better protect part-time or contract workers.
“Why Not $20”?
Naturally, this new policy did not pass by unnoticed. Students for Liberty Canada wrote in a Facebook post: “If you’re shopping for votes, why not $20, even $25?”. It is indeed surprising that she did not introduce a fashionable universal basic income.
Small business owners are also raising their voices, in opposition to the new policies. Stacey Holden, the owner of a small bakery chain, told CBC: “Each change might be manageable on its own, but in an environment where businesses face higher rents, taxes, electricity, and in my case higher equipment and ingredient costs because of the low Canadian dollar, it’s really challenging.”
As we have shown time and time again at the Libertarian Republic, bringing in a minimum wage works counterintuitively. It costs jobs and thusly does not benefit the poor. Instead of reading Paul Krugman, policy makers should focus more on Frederic Bastiat!