How Should Ontario Determine Its Minimum Wage?

Recently the Ontario government announced it had appointed an advisory panel to examine Ontario’s current approach to setting the minimum wage and provide advice on how the province should determine changes to the minimum wage in the future.

In late August, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) brought together businesses and sector organizations from across the province to examine options for determining the minimum wage. Bob Malcolmson, CEO of the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce (GOCC), participated in this process to provide feedback which will form the foundation for the OCC’s submission to the Ontario government’s advisory panel.

In order to provide feedback, the panel discussed the pros and cons of four options, some of which are in practice in provinces across Canada.
Option 1: Determined by government
Option 2: Determined by government on advice from an independent body of experts
Option 3: Determined by an independent body of experts
Option 4: Rises with inflation (Consumer Price Index)

The discussion centered around which option was preferable and which option was the least preferred and what type of criteria should be used to determine an appropriate change to the minimum wage.

“This is an important issue for the government and it will be on the GOCC Agenda at the September Government Affairs Committee to weigh in on,” stated Bob Malcolmson.
The OCC submission, to be released in October 2013, will identify businesses’ preferred manner of determining the minimum wage.