Ontario Labour Minister Kevin Flynn made a stop in Barrie Thursday to tout the province’s increase in minimum wage.

The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 gives employers until January 2018 to increase minimum wage to $14 an hour and up to January 2019 to raise it to $15 per hour, followed by annual increases at the rate of inflation.

During a news conference at the Barrie Community Wholeness Centre on Maple Avenue, the Minister tried to assuage concerns that the wage increase will force businesses to close.

“I don’t buy into the premise that this is going to cause unemployment. That it’s going to cause people to lose their jobs. In fact I think it’s exactly the opposite. I don’t buy the doom and gloom predictions and the vast majority of economists in this country don’t buy it either,” said Flynn.