The minimum wage is a topic that is frequently brought up in conversations because it’s what a lot of people have to live by, but is it enough? Today, We are going to look into the minimum wage in Toronto and see if it’s enough for all Ontarians.
On Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021, Ontario premier Doug Ford announced that the minimum wage will go from the previous $14.35 to $15.00 by the new year of 2022.“Workers deserve to have more money in their pockets,” said Ford. The Ontario government said they estimated that this would benefit around 760,000 people in the province, given that Ontario has a population of 13.6 million people, that’s about 5 to 6% of the total population.
Previously, Ford cancelled the raise in 2019 to $15 an hour in October of 2018 when the Progressive Conservatives took power from the Liberals. On Jan. 1, 2018, The minimum wage in Ontario increased from $11.60 to $14 an hour. If we calculate the difference from $11.60 to $15.00 three years later based on a 40 hour week, the yearly wage of a minimum wage worker would go up from around $24,000 to $31,200, which would be around 24% increase, but is it enough? During the interview, Doug Ford admitted that he thinks it’s still not enough, stating that“It’s a start”.
So is $15 a livable wage in Toronto? According to the Ontario Living Wage Network (OLWN), which calculates and adds up the food, shelter, clothing, transportation and other necessities, it costs $22.08 dollars to live in Toronto ( average for a single adult, single parent, and a family of four) and this list doesn’t even include things like home ownership, education savings, retirement savings, etc. Which will make the living wage far from the $15 minimum wage we will have.
Following these increases, it was also announced that the minimum wage will be increasing every October based on the inflation rate, which is now at an 18-year high and has quadrupled since early 2019.
During the hard times where gas, groceries and other basic necessities are skyrocketing in price and become unaffordable, is $15 really enough, if you ask my personal opinion, the answer is no, but this is a step in the right direction for our fellow Ontarians.