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Province to announce minimum wage increase today

Wynne also announced plans to ensure part-time workers will get equal pay for doing work equal to full-time staff, and that the minimum vacation entitlement will be increased.

Personal emergency leave would also be expanded.

It makes you wonder where all this was when times were good in Ontario during her predecessors' first rein.

"It has always been a challenge to raise a family on a minimum wage job. but in recent years it has become nearly impossible", Wynne said.

She did not say Monday just how much the new minimum wage will be.

Making employee scheduling fairer, will include requiring employees to be paid for three hours of work if their shift is cancelled within 48 hours of its scheduled start time. "It means a lot more people will be able to afford housing, which is one of the worst issues in our city right now", she said.

The minimum wage would go up in phases, from $11.40 an hour now to $11.60 in October.

There was "talk around the corridors" at Queen's Park Tuesday that the Liberal government might take the bill on the road over the summer for input from the public before passing it in the fall, but nothing had been confirmed, added Clark.

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The wage will rise to $14 an hour on January 1, 2018 - six months before what is expected to be a hotly contested Ontario election - and then to the $15 mark that labour groups have long demanded on January 1, 2019.

"I would suspect that in the very near future the cost of a cup of coffee, or a hamburger, or products that we purchase on a regular basis, . will increase", said Karl Baldauf, vice president, policy and government relations at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

Workers will also have the right to 10 emergency days annually, two of which must be paid. Many people while working on minimum need social assistance to make ends meet, he said.

The Ontario government is raising the minimum wage without taking heed of the move's economic impact, the head of the area's biggest business group warned Tuesday. If the government is re-elected, or if the next one follows its lead, that will increase again to $15 in 2019, and be adjusted for inflation after that. "Today's really a good day for the little guy".

Some business groups have voiced their concerns about the cost to business of the potential labour law changes and a higher minimum wage. "Small businesses, who don't share the larger profit margins of big business, will be forced to make hard choices, including cutting hours and jobs".

As Canada's leading union for retail and food workers, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW Canada) represents over 250,000 workers across the country - and more than 105,000 members in Ontario - working in the food retail and processing, agriculture, health care, security, and hospitality industries, as well as other sectors of the economy.

"This money that goes to bread, it goes to diapers, it goes to bus fares, it goes to rent", he said. "This is money that gets spent and invested right back in the community".

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