The increase in the minimum wage in Ontario would have little impact on workers in the outaouais region

Photo: Jim Anderson Associated Press
Even if the minimum wage is now $ 14 an hour in Ontario, it should not be concluded automatically that the businesses on the quebec side, where the hourly minimum wage is $ 11.25, will have difficulties to retain their employees.

Even if the minimum wage is now $ 14 an hour on the ontario side, it should not be concluded automatically that the businesses on the quebec side of the Outaouais region, where the minimum wage is $ 11.25 an hour, will have difficulties to retain their employees.


During an interview with The canadian Press, Monday, Simon Gaudreault, director of economic affairs at the canadian Federation of independent business (CFIB), has explained that the situation is more complex than it seems at first glance.


In mid-December, the CFIB has started to conduct a survey of its members, in Ontario, to learn how these small and medium-sized enterprises could adapt to the increase in the minimum wage on the 1st of January.


However, approximately one in two said that it would postpone its projects, hiring students, for example.


These ontario SMES are considering, therefore, the overall reduction of the number of hours of work to compensate for the rise in the costs of labor, reported that Mr. Gaudreault.


“Companies are adjusting in different ways : they may remove some of the benefits [of employees]. We saw it with the Tim Hortons in Ontario. But they can also reduce the hours, ” summarised Mr. Gaudreault.


“Often, they are going to reduce the hours of some employees in particular : the less experienced, students. So, what could happen is that yes, if one stops the analysis at just the minimum wage to $ 15, one might be tempted to think that the SMES of Ottawa will fly the employees in Gatineau.


15 $ in January 2019


But they need to have a number of hours to offer. And because there has been an increase of 30% of their costs of labor, they will perhaps be tempted to reduce hours and keep the employees they already have, ” said Mr. Gaudreault. He adds that he will have to wait a bit before you see the real effects of this disparity in the minimum wage between the provinces of Quebec and Ontario in the Outaouais region.


The government of Kathleen Wynne increased the minimum wage 11,65 $ to 14 $ on the 1st of January last, and he must carry it to $ 15 on January 1, 2019. In Quebec, the government Couillard has worn paid $ 10.75 to 11.25 $ on the 1st of may last.


According to a report published on the website of the ministry of Labour, 216 100 workers in Québec are paid the minimum wage, or 6.1 % of employees. Contrary to what many people think, 61 % of them are not students. Similarly, 56 % are women and 62 % of young people aged 15 to 24 years.


The FTQ will not let go


216 100 workers are paid the minimum wage in Quebec, 6.1% of employees, according to a report published on the website of the ministry of Labour.

At its annual conference to outline its plans for the year 2018, the 3 of January last, the FTQ has made it known that she would fight tirelessly for the cause of the minimum wage to $15.


It is the FTQ, which had launched the ball on may 1, 2016, and then a coalition and a movement have followed suit, supported even by business people such as Alexandre Taillefer.


And the president of the FTQ Daniel Boyer, taking advantage of the Quebec election campaign in 2018 to follow the government Couillard about it, all the more that there is improved economic performance and a very low unemployment rate.


The FTQ has more than 600 000 members. Several of its unions have since managed to get the famous minimum wage to $ 15, including orderlies in private homes for the elderly, members of local 298 of the Syndicat québécois des employés de service (SQEES-298), and 4000 students of the University of Montreal who work at admission or during the days of ” open doors “.