McGuinty Government Moves To Ensure Most Vulnerable Share In Economic Growth



    Ontario's Minimum Wage To Increase To $10.25 Over Three Years

    QUEEN'S PARK, March 30 /CNW/ - Balancing the interests of workers and
business, the McGuinty government has committed, through its 2007 budget, to
raising Ontario's general minimum wage by 75 cents per hour annually over
three years, Minister of Labour Steve Peters announced today. Beginning March
31, 2008, the current minimum wage of $8.00 per hour would rise incrementally
to $10.25 on March 31, 2010.
    "We are committed to ensuring fair, balanced and progressive policies for
Ontario workers," said Peters. "We must ensure that our most vulnerable
workers are able to share in Ontario's strong economy."
    The McGuinty government introduced annual increases in 2004 that brought
the general minimum wage up to $8.00 per hour as of February 1, 2007, after
being frozen for nine years. Further phased-in annual increases would balance
the needs of Ontario's low-income workers with the needs of our business
community to remain competitive in a global economy.
    Effective the following dates, the general minimum wage would increase
to:
    
    -  $8.75 as of March 31, 2008
    -  $9.50 as of March 31, 2009
    -  $10.25 as of March 31, 2010
    

    "It is in Ontario's best interest to help low-income working people,"
said Peters. "Since 2003, we have increased the minimum wage by 17 per cent.
These increases would add an additional 28 per cent. Our economic strength is
built by working families who must be allowed to share the benefits of a
growing economy."

    
    Disponible en français

                             www.labour.gov.on.ca
    


    Fact Sheet
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
                       ONTARIO'S MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE

    -  On January 1, 2004, Ontario's general minimum wage was $6.85 per hour.
       It had not been increased since January 1995.

    -  The general minimum wage was increased in stages to $8.00 per hour as
       of February 1, 2007.

    -  In the budget introduced in the Legislature on March 22, 2007, the
       McGuinty government proposed further annual increases of 75 cents per
       year, until the general minimum wage reaches $10.25 per hour on
       March 31, 2010.

    Implementation Timelines

    -  By phasing-in increases, the government is helping low-income workers
       while giving Ontario businesses the opportunity to adjust to these
       increases so that they can stay competitive with other Canadian and
       American jurisdictions.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario General Minimum
    Wage Rate/hr                     Implementation Date
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    $8.00                            February 1, 2007
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    $8.75                            March 31, 2008
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    $9.50                            March 31, 2009
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    $10.25                           March 31, 2010
    ---------------------------------------------------------


    Minimum Wages Across Canada:

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Jurisdiction          Current Minimum Wage    Next Scheduled Increase
                          Rate Per Hour
                          (on March 23, 2007)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Alberta               $7.00                   None currently scheduled
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    British Columbia      $8.00                   None currently scheduled
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Manitoba              $7.60                   $8.00
                                                  April 1, 2007
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    New Brunswick         $7.00                   $7.25
                                                  July 1, 2007
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Newfoundland and      $7.00                   None currently scheduled
    Labrador
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Northwest Territories $8.25                   None currently scheduled
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nova Scotia           $7.15                   $7.60
                                                  May 1, 2007
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nunavut               $8.50                   None currently scheduled
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Prince Edward Island  $7.15                   $7.50
                                                  April 1, 2007
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec                $7.75                   $8.00
                                                  May 1, 2007
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saskatchewan          $7.95                   None currently scheduled
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Yukon                 $8.25                   $8.37
                                                  April 1, 2007
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Disponible en français

                            www.labour.gov.on.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Members of the general public: 1-800-531-5551;
Members of the media: Susan McConnell, Minister's Office, (416) 326-7710;
Belinda Sutton, Ministry of Labour, (416) 326-7405

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