December 3rd, 2021

Doug Ford’s Conservatives vote down buck-a-year raise for minimum wage, Liberals refuse to vote in support

QUEEN’S PARK — On Friday Doug Ford’s Conservatives denied workers better pay by voting down an NDP amendment that would have put Ontarians on the path to a $20 minimum wage.

Andrea Horwath and Ontario’s New Democrats have committed to a schedule of stable, predictable $1-an-hour increases to the minimum wage over each of the next five years. Ford’s Conservatives rejected that schedule, defeating an amendment to replace the low-wage policy set out in the Fall Economic Statement, while the lone Liberal in attendance, MPP Amanda Simard (Glengarry—Prescott—Russell) refused to take a position, abstaining from the vote. That means the minimum wage will stagnate at $15 an hour as the cost of everything goes up.

“Does Doug Ford not understand that minimum wage earners often have to cobble together two or three jobs to make ends meet, and make sacrifices just to give their children the basics?” said Horwath. “It’s not enough to call the people who clean our hospitals heroes, or to say thank you to the workers who stock our grocery shelves. We need to show them respect by paying them a wage that pays the bills.

“Mr. Ford is again showing he’s not here for workers by choosing to stick with his low-wage policies. If I were premier, I’d be putting Ontario workers on the path to a $20 minimum wage with stable, steady annual increases.”

The Ford Conservatives cancelled the minimum wage increase and froze wages for three years — putting the change to $15 years behind schedule. They cut and denied workers paid sick days. And they are capping wages of frontline heroes like nurses and teachers with a wage cap bill that pins their paycheques behind inflation. The Liberals could have raised the wage to $15 in hour when they had the chance, but they chose to delay it until after Ford’s election.

Horwath has pledged to develop a fund to help legitimately struggling small and medium-sized local businesses transition to the higher wages mapped out in the NDP’s plan:

  • $16 Oct. 1, 2022
  • $17 May 1, 2023
  • $18 May 1, 2024
  • $19 May 1, 2025
  • $20 May 1, 2026


Bill 43
An Act to implement Budget measures and to enact and amend various statutes
Motion to be moved in Committee

Moved by: Catherine Fife

I move that subsection 1 (1) of Schedule 9 to the Bill be amended by striking out paragraph 2 of subsection 23.1 (1) of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and substituting the following:

  1. From October 1, 2022 onwards, for the classes of employees listed in subparagraph 1 ii or iii, the amount determined under subsection (4).
  1. For a class of employees listed in subparagraph 1 i or iv,
    i. on or after October 1, 2022 but before May 1, 2023, $16.00 per hour,
    ii. on or after May 1, 2023 but before May 1, 2024, $17.00 per hour,
    iii. on or after May 1, 2024 but before May 1, 2025, $18.00 per hour,
    iv. on or after May 1, 2025 but before May 1, 2026, $19.00 per hour, and
    v. on or after May 1, 2026 but before May 1, 2027, $20.00 per hour.