Liberals, PCs oppose $10 minimum wage

NDP private member's bill gets second reading in Ontario legislature

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory both oppose a private member's bill to raise the province's minimum hourly wage to $10.

With the leaders of two of the three main parties, as well as many of their members, opposing it, Parkdale-High Park NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo's bill to increase the minimum wage from $7.75, which went into second reading this week, doesn't have much of a chance of becoming law.

McGuinty has said that his party wants to raise the minimum wage but that doing so by so much and so quickly could have a negative impact on businesses and cost jobs. Therefore instead of helping the working poor, this measure could in fact hurt them more.

However, DiNovo, who was elected to the legislature in September, disagrees with this argument, one she said has been given every time the minimum wage is raised.

She said that there are 200,000 Ontarians earning the minimum wage and 1.2 million who earn less than $10 an hour.

She questioned the economic sense of a minimum wage rate that would result in a single parent with two children earning less at a 40-hour full-time job than she would on welfare.

Finance Minister Greg Sorbara is expected to increase the minimum wage to $8 an hour next year.

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