Armstrong calls on premier for $15 minimum wage commitment

During Question Period today, Teresa Armstrong, MPP for London-Fanshawe, demanded the premier raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, after a new report showed  thousands of Londoners are living in extreme poverty, and face a “brutal” situation.

“A new report shows that London has deep, entrenched, poverty – a situation the report authors call ‘brutal’. 35,000 Londoners live in extreme poverty. And almost 8 per cent are jobless.  For individuals, that equates to an income of $11,000, and for a lone parent it’s $19,000 per year,” said Armstrong.

“The City of London, has taken a stand against poverty by calling for an end to poverty in one generation, and by establishing a living wage.  When will the premier agree to a $15 minimum wage to help raise those 35,000 people out of extreme poverty?” 

Armstrong cited the new data from the Poverty Research Centre at King’s University College.  After a four year freeze on the minimum wage at $10.25 an hour,  the government finally began increasing the minimum wage in 2014.  On October 1, 2016, the Liberals’ minimum wage increased 15 cents from $11.25 to $11.40. New Democrats are calling for an increase to $15 per hour.

“When people get a fair paycheque it means they can plan a future for their families. My city has been a center of commerce, and was once a hub for good paying manufacturing jobs in southwestern Ontario,” said Armstrong. “Londoners are skilled and hardworking people; but as you have heard there are too many who are vulnerable. People need hope for the future.”