Ontario minimum wage increasing to $15 per hour in January, sources say

Doug Ford is set to announce an increase to minimum wage in Ontario.

Ontario will increase minimum wage to $15 per hour starting in January, CTV News Toronto has learned.

Sources say Premier Doug Ford will make the official announcement on Tuesday and the change will come into effect on Jan. 1.

Sources said the minimum wage will continue to rise by the rate of inflation after the boost to $15 per hour.

Minimum wage in Ontario is currently $14.35 per hour.

In October 2020, the provincial minimum wage increased from $14 per hour to $14.25 per hour.

Before that, the minimum wage had not increased in Ontario since January 2018, when it went up from $11.60 per hour to $14 per hour.

After being elected in 2018, Ford scrapped legislation that would have pushed the minimum wage to $15.

On Monday, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath grilled Ford in Question Period about that decision.

"The premier's buddies never need to worry about putting food on the table or putting a roof over the head of their kids," Horwath said.

She said minimum wage workers would have lost out on $5,300 because the hourly rate didn't go up to $15 per hour in 2018.

Ford responded by talking about gas prices and then said more people have jobs since he took over from the Liberal government.

Dan Kelly, President and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, blasted Ford on Twitter Monday, saying that increasing minimum wage will hurt struggling businesses.

"I might have thought Ford would let small businesses have a shot at surviving the pandemic before further pandering to Ontario’s unions," Kelly said.

He said the increase will come just after the "long, cold post-holiday season" and that as of right now, only 37 per cent of Ontario small businesses are back to normal sale levels from the pandemic.

Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca said Monday Ford is only increasing minimum wage because of next year's eleciton.

"Now that he's desperate for votes, Ford's finally ending his fight against minimum wage workers," Del Duca wrote on Twitter.