Minimum wage increase could hurt economic recovery; "honest" dialogue on
helping working Ontarians needed now

TORONTO, March 31 /CNW/ - Satinder Chera, Ontario director of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is available to comment on today's increase in the provincial minimum wage to $10.25. Having risen almost 50 per cent since 2004, Ontario now has the highest minimum wage in Canada.

"The Ontario Government missed a big opportunity with last week's budget to stem the growing cost of doing business in the province, just as the economic recovery is underway," said Chera. "A higher minimum wage equals higher payroll costs and ultimately hurts the ability of small businesses to retain and create jobs."

Even studies commissioned by the government have warned about the perils - job losses - of increasing the minimum wage. "Rather than having an honest conversation with Ontarians about how to help those who are struggling to make ends meet, the province continues to play politics with an issue that only benefits government coffers through higher tax revenues."

"If the government is truly interested in supporting all working Ontarians, they should increase the basic personal exemption and do more to help individuals train for higher paying jobs," concluded Chera.

SOURCE Canadian Federation of Independent Business

For further information: For further information: To arrange an interview with Satinder Chera, please call Meghan Carrington or Adam Miller at (416) 222-8022

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