Chatham-Kent’s medical officer of health and the chair of the board of health say the upcoming minimum wage increase in Ontario should help address poverty issues in the community.

The Ontario government is set to increase the minimum wage from $11.60 to $14 at the beginning of the new year and to $15 at the start of 2019.

Dr. David Colby from the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit said the increase could help some people “secure basic human needs.”

“It’s an under-appreciated fact that providing some economic boosts to the lower income people is reflected in increased patronage of local businesses because that money is spent, not saved,” he said. “They can’t afford to save.”