A demonstrator attends a downtown Windsor rally supporting $15/hr minimum wage in Canada. Photo taken April 15, 2016.

Ontario Raising Minimum Wage To $15/Hour

The Ontario government says minimum wage earners will get $15/hour in 2019.

The province announced plans Tuesday morning to raise the general minimum wage to $14/hour on January 1, 2018. The wage will then be increased to $15/hour on January 1, 2019.

The government also plans to introduce paid sick days for every worker. It will also mandate equal pay for part-time, temporary, casual, and seasonal employees doing the same job as full-time employees. Companies that use workers from temp agencies will have to give those workers pay that is equal to permanent employees who are doing the same job.

“The economy has changed. Work has changed. It’s time our laws and protections for workers changed too,” said Premier Kathleen Wynne. “Too many families are struggling to get by on part-time or contract work and unstable employment. And no one working full time in Ontario should live in poverty. With these changes, every worker in Ontario will be treated fairly, paid a living wage and have the opportunities they deserve.”

The province also plans to expand minimum vacation entitlements. Workers will get at least three weeks of vacation after five years with a company. Changes to scheduling rules will see workers get three hours of pay if their shift is cancelled less than 48 hours before it is to start.

According to the province, just under a third of working Ontarians make less than $15/hour.