You may have read this story from CBC that GNN linked up to last week about small business owners in Ontario reacting to a one per cent cut in corporate taxes to help them deal with the high cost of doing business in the province, including an eventual increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Several of the business people quoted in the story say the tax cut will do little and the discontent in Ontario continues to grow. Certainly, there have been dire warnings about the effects of a $15-an-hour minimum wage, which is being phased in very quickly in Ontario compared to Alberta, which is also moving towards the same minimum wage target.
This isn’t just an Ontario and Alberta story. British Columbia is expected to be the next province to set a $15 an hour minimum wage and other provinces are expected to follow and why wouldn’t they?
A raise in pay for the masses is gold for the party that implements it, which is why many are skeptical, particularly in Ontario, where the ruling Liberals had hit rock bottom in the polls when they introduced it there. It’s seen by many as nothing more than an election goodie, which explains the speed in which it’s being implemented.
It’s understandable why people would want a raise in pay, given the rising cost of living, particularly in major cities, but business owners have already pointed out that they’ll need to raise their prices in order to pay for this increase in minimum wage, so will the hike in prices negate a rise in the minimum wage?
That’s something business people are warning governments about, as are the possibilities of staff cuts, or fewer hours for people such as summer staff at a golf operation, very often students who are saving for university expenses.
They also fear that staff members or managers already at or just above $15 an hour now are understandably going to want more than the people they manage, so there will be a ripple effect.
You can read more about business concerns in this story I wrote for Golf Business Canada , the magazine of the National Golf Course Owners Association Canada, earlier this year.
So there are potential risks that go along with a $15 an hour minimum wage. Should it become standard in each province across the country? That’s this week’s question in the GNN Poll.
You can vote below or on the GNN home page and, as always, we welcome your feedback in the Comments section below.
Should $15 an hour become a standard minimum wage across Canada, despite the risk of layoffs, reduced hours and rising prices?
- NO (68%)
- YES (32%)