Counties council unhappy over minimum wage increase plan
The eight mayors representing the communities of Prescott-Russell are not happy with the provincial government about Bill 148, the new minimum wage law.
Gary Barton, the current warden for the United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR), noted that he and other mayors in the region have heard complaints from local chambers of commerce and other groups who fear the economic impact of the legislation on small business in the province.
“I understand the philosophy of trying to make things better,” Barton said, about the goal of helping low-income workers, “but the way they (province) have gone about it is not good.”
Barton observed that Bill 148 does not just deal with raising Ontario’s current minimum wage to $14 an hour starting in January 2018 and then to $15 in 2019. It also deals with changes to holiday and vacation pay rates, pay differences between part-time and fulltime staff, and other items that could affect not just small business, especially in the tourism sector, but also municipalities and Minimum-wage jobs are entry-level positions for many young people while pursuing their career goals. But more and more people find that minimum-wage jobs are the only jobs now available for them. The Ontario government plans to increase the minimum wage in the province but many in the business sector and in some municipalities feel the Wynne Liberal government is moving too fast with its plan.