Ontario increasing minimum wage

Hourly rate to rise 4.2 per cent on Feb. 1 to $7.45

Ontario is increasing its minimum wage on Feb. 1 to $7.45 an hour, up 4.2 per cent — or 30 cents — from the current rate of $7.15.

The province said there will be annual increases in each of the next two years until the minimum wage reaches $8 per hour in early 2007. Last February, the rate was raised from $6.85 to $7.15, the first increase in nine years.

“By gradually increasing the minimum wage, the government is moving responsibly,” said Labour Minister Chris Bentley. “A phased-in approach is part of our government’s plan to improve the quality of life for people in the province while giving Ontario businesses more time to adjust so that they can remain competitive with businesses in other jurisdictions.

Other wage increases in Ontario

Other minimum wage rates will also increase on Feb. 1. The minimum wage for:

•Students under the age of18 and employed for not more than 28 hours a week will rise from $6.70 to $6.95 per hour.

•Liquor servers will increase from $6.20 to $6.50 per hour.

•Hunting and fishing guides currently paid a minimum of $35.75 for less than five consecutive hours in a day and $71.50 for five or more hours in a day (whether or not the hours are consecutive) will also increase to $37.25 and $74.50 respectively.

Homeworkers, defined as people doing paid work in their home for an employer, will receive 110 per cent of the general minimum wage.

Ontario minimum wageImplementation date
$6.85January 1995
$7.15Feb. 1, 2004
$7.45Feb. 1, 2005
$7.75Feb. 1, 2006
$8.00Feb. 1, 2007
Source: Government of Ontario

For a list of minimum wages across Canada, click on the related articles link below.

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