Last week, Ontario’s minimum wage went up to $14 an hour for most workers, and $12.10 an hour for others, like restaurant servers, whose wages are partially buffered by tips. It was a move announced by the Ontario Liberal government months in advance, accompanied by pledged small business tax cuts from both the provincial and federal governments, and precipitated by price hikes on everything from steak and lobster tail to a medium double-double.

In other words, the higher cost of labour in 2018 (which will be followed by another hike in 2019) had, for the most part, been baked into the equation for most business owners