Premier Kathleen Wynne’s decision to increase Ontario’s minimum wage to $15 an hour in 2019 will help solve some of the political challenges her government faces leading up to the next election, but it’s not enough to solve the problem of chronic poverty in this province. Indeed, for those who depend on minimum-wage employment, the increase does not match some of the “living wage” calculations thoughtfully developed by several social service agencies.
Wynne understands that. Earlier this year she told a CBC reporter that sharply raising the minimum from its current $11.40 level wasn’t the answer. She defended a plan to boost the wage at the annual rate of inflation, saying that method “actually depoliticizes the increases.”
So what changed?