Northern Ontario Party leader Trevor Holliday says in a news release today that the government's recent announcement that the minimum wage will rise to $15 is too much too fast.
"Yes, the increase is inevitable, but not such a large increase with little or no time for Ontario businesses to adjust or prepare," says Holliday. "The minimum wage increase should be done in such a way that no one is in jeopardy of losing their job or their business in the process.
"The NOP feels such an immediate jump in the minimum wage will not only cause businesses to close, but the businesses that stay open will be forced to increase their prices to make up the huge added expense. This will just cause inflation to jump and in no time everyone is right back where they have started, with no one being better off than they were before.
"Our party feels that to avoid this, the formula needs to be corrected and the minimum wage increase spread over an extended period of time."
Holliday adds that action is needed to slow the rate of the minimum wage increase to a rate of approximately 75 cents every six months until we reach the 15 dollars an hour level.
"We know that most people want the increase now; but after all that has been done to destroy the economy and businesses in Northern Ontario, we need to ensure it will be done right the first time. To create the maximum benefit for everyone, we need to make sure that the minimum wage rate is above the rate of cost of living to avoid and eliminate poverty."