Gaetan sums up his take on the why of the minimum wage increase.

opinionandcommentBy Joe Gaetan

January 11th, 2018



Let me see if I got this right. The Wynne Liberal party, suffering in popularity because of amongst other things, a failed energy policy, that forced people to choose between eating and heating, decided it was high time to increase the minimum wage. During their 15-year Liberal reign, McGuinty and Wynne had ample opportunities to make it right, but instead decided to wait until 6 month before the next election to pull the trigger. Sound familiar?

Between 2004 and 2017 for example they tweaked the minimum wage a number of times increasing it from $7.15 to $11.40 or about 4.5 % per year during that time. For the four years between 2010 and 2013 they held the minimum wage at $10.25 (zero increases for four years), then over the next four years (2011 to 2017), they increased the minimum wage from $11.00 to $11.40 or 40 cents, or 10 cents a year.

But that was then, and this is now, and now with Wynne having to face the probability of being ousted from power decided small businesses needed to pay for them to win the election. And so all-of-a- sudden, our minimum wage had to go from $11.40 to $14.00 on January 1, 2018 and then to $15 on January 1, 2019. No one can successfully argue that they do not need the $15.00.

The reaction by some small businesses, resulted in some claw backs, which led to Wynne calling them bullies, which then led to unions piling on.

From an election strategy perspective, Wynne is betting that the millions who will benefit from the increase will be beholding to her during the June election and she is probably right. The opposition as well have stood back as they should, with the only argument being, perhaps the increases should have been stretched out.

Some are saying a business that can’t afford the new minimum wage should not be in business anyway. The pay or fail doctrine is not right, and remember this, this is the party that wasted billions to save two seats. The too-big-to-fail companies were bailed out with billions of tax dollars, the little guy, and most small business are little guys (few are children of Billionaires) are helping Wynne get reelected and will get “BUPKUS” in return.

Joe Gaetan is a frequent contributor to the Burlington Gazette.

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1 comment to Gaetan sums up his take on the why of the minimum wage increase.

  • Byron Linley

    Excellent article Joe.

    In my opinion the term “living wage” should be identified as the wage that an individual identifies as necessary to meet the requirement of the lifestyle that the individual desires. It is then that individual’s responsibility to gain the education and experience required to secure employment at that salary level. Companies must have the ability set wage rates that they deem appropriate to their particular business model. If no-one takes up their offer of employment it should be the employers task to revisit their cost structure. Governments should not be involved.

    I am confused as to why the Union leaders jumping into this “debate” were not interested in these employees prior to the increase. Wasn’t the net take home at that time the same as they now claim will be the case with these claw backs? And exactly how much will the Unions take out of the net pay cheques as Union dues? Or are they going to offer their involvement free of charge?