$15 minimum wage unpopular with Chamber of Commerce

By Robert Mackenzie

Published May 23 2017

Haliburton’s Chamber of Commerce  has spoken out against a $15 minimum wage and other potential changes to Ontario employment laws reportedly being considered by the provincial Liberal government.

The CBC reported last weekend that the Liberal cabinet would consider reforms that would give employees a minimum number of sick days enhanced workplace protections and a $15 minimum wage among other benefits.

The Chamber with the support of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to Premier Kathleen Wynne on May 15 outlining its opposition to the potential changes.

“It would definitely reduce employment” said Chamber president Jerry Walker. “It’s going to cut into the [Haliburton] workforce because we don’t have the opportunities of an urban area.”

Walker particularly opposes the $15 minimum wage reportedly being considered. “There’s always an opportunity to gain a better wage but you want people to work hard and earn that compensation” he said.

Laurie Scott Haliburton-Kawartha-Brock MPP wouldn’t comment yet on the potential changes. “We look forward to reviewing the report when it is released” she said in an email.

These reforms are being considered after the cabinet examined the Changing Workplaces Review conducted by the Ontario Ministry of Labour.

The report looks at the changing nature of the Ontario workplace.

The reforms being considered by the government would be the first major changes to Ontario’s Labour Relations Act since Mike Harris’s Progressive Conservative government took power in 1995.