(May 18/17) As reported this weekend by the Toronto Star and CBC, the government has a new tone on the Changing Workplaces Review (CWR) changes that will be implemented. It has also raised the idea of a $15 minimum wage. This position comes out of left field, as minimum wage discussions had been expressly left out of the CWR.

The CWR proposes:

  • a return to card-based certification;
  • measures designed to artificially increase union membership;
  • a bureaucratic hurdle that would force employers to justify part-time jobs;
  • increased vacation pay; and
  • extended benefits and protections to part-time workers.

Although these changes are supposed to be debated by the Cabinet, it’s clear the Premier’s office is controlling the decisions. Minister Flynn’s comments show he has significantly changed his tone from previous discussions.



Restaurants Canada has spent the last few days meeting with government officials to share our grave concerns about these changes.  We’ll continue to lobby government officials to head off these negative policy decisions.


Government plans

We expect the Changing Workplaces Review final report to be released next week, along with the government’s response. Changes from this review are expected to be acted on this year, with possible legislation introduced this fall.

Signs indicate these changes and the minimum wage increases will be part of a wider campaign linking all of the government’s social programs, such as guaranteed basic income, poverty reduction, free tuition and welfare reforms.

It’s unclear if minimum wage increases would be introduced now, or as an election promise for next spring. The plan is to reach a $15 minimum wage over a multi-year period.

Act now

Employers need to make their voices heard by government. You are a key contributor to the provincial economy. The government needs to know that they’re putting your businesses, and the jobs you create, at risk.

Contact your local MPP or any member of Cabinet with whom you have a relationship.  Read our letter to the Premier to see our arguments.


11 responses to “$15 minimum wage in Ontario? Speak up!”

  1. Dan Labanowich says:

    We need to band together more than ever.

  2. I may as well shut our small family restaurant down, or fire a bunch of employees and just run it as a take out restaurant. This will kill many, many small mom and pop restaurants. Don’t people realize that prices will just skyrocket to be able to afford to pay staff? People will eat out less and eat less when they do. Staff will get cut and service will suffer for it. This is a lose/lose idea!!

  3. Joanne Morin says:

    Really????All of us will have to raise our prices accordingly. No one will be going out to eat as often. No one will be better off! Let’s work on getting people to work. We have been short staffed for years. We are constantly looking for people. Let us instead try to get more equality in wages from front of the house to back of the house!

  4. Gurutharan says:

    I have a restaurant with 60 employees our menu is not expensive the most expensive dish is $10 our rent fr units is already killing us Nd now wages hike? We will not survive

  5. Nanotek says:


  6. Rick Nash says:

    Many now think that its a move to get votes for the coming elections in 2019.the money we the Citizens of Canada have paid to the government our hard earned Tax money and they spend it lavishly on unwanted areas without helping its own people (ex;crores spent to other countries just to get a seat in the U.N,A huge duck ordered with $2.5 K price tag which has nothing to do with 150 years of independence,giving away money to private companies and individuals,without concern about the ordinary people )If the government spends our tax money to ur people helping them on education,affordable housing according to their income,health,help people when they are laid off,create jobs people will uno be affected but they chose to tax us the small business owners who are contributing a big chunk to Canadas economy but guess who gets punished ???

  7. hannah says:

    my husband and I have a small restaurant, family business, in a town that has tons of restaurants. Our price is set low enough to keep our business competitive. We hire one full time and one part time staff. After paying off rent plus property tax plus common area maintenance (Triple Net), food materials, wages, utilities, phone/internet services, SINTAS service, and garbage collection service, the raining is small. If it happens to have issues with fridge, appliances, conditioning, or purchase new equipment, we will have nothing left at hand. $15/per hour means prices for everything will go up. Given such thin profit we currently have, can we swallow this inflation? Given such competitive restaurant market, how much can we transfer this infatuation to our customers? Even if we do not increase our food price, I’m afraid that our customers will step back and reduce eating in our restaurant, because everything else increased–coffee, tea, grocery, etc. We will have to face increased business cost and more conservative customer consumption. What can I do is to cut back staffing. We can no longer afford to hire any people. We will have to work longer hours to keep our restaurant survive. I hope the so called scholars and politicians who earn high incomes could could really look into small business and understand the real consequences of their proposal. Once implemented, as far as I see, the employees in our small restaurant will lose their job.

  8. The coming increases are inevitable. 1. You will review the hours of your business and if they are not productive you will adjust them accordingly.
    2. You study study your menus to remove non seller and delete them ; add more profitable items, raising prices calls for a careful analytical study, what’s selling what’s not, old stuff check the waste careful exact portioning, Watch the small stuff, staff meals, free refills, talk with your staff and solicit their suggestion; I bet you’re afraid!, reduce your a la carte offerings, watch the back door, what’s coming in and going out, Hire a Consultant (Morin Greenberg to assist with this analysis, don’t just raise prices); are there additional sales opportunities , takeout, catering, delivery ; Support the restaurant association in their endeavour to receiving compensating cost adjustments.
    These will not be easy times, develop a plan!

  9. billy says:

    just about everything you will purchase will go up in price , so how is that helping the people she is trying to reach

  10. Lloyd Murphy Nunes and murphy rest. Bowmanville says:

    Bottom line this is a 22% wage increase Jan 1 2018 with an additional 9.5% @ Jan 1 2019. Translated to pricing this would require a 6% price increase across the board to cover 2018 with an additional 2 % by Jan 1 2019 to cover 2019 or something equivalent… With food and overhead costs increasing year over year this is a real game changer for Franchisee’s. Landlords won’t take the hit, governments won’t take the hit, suppliers won’t bare the cost so ultimately it boils down to cost cutting. Fewer students hired (we can’t afford to spend $ to train only to have them leave and go back to school) Less hours scheduled and if the customer can’t bare the poor service and quality we shut down. Let the chips fall where they may.
    Common sense approach would be 15$ over a 4 year period not 18 months just so Kathleen Wynne can try and salvage her job. Minimum wage was never intended to be a life sustaining wage it was intended for folks who need the extra income. If you need more money than better yourself through self-improvement or take risks like so many of us had to do. Perhaps we get our elected officials to do their jobs and create an economy that helps people better themselves rather than depending on the few working stiffs to prop up those that don’t have the opportunity. Isn’t that why our government spends so many dollars on social programs. You cause the problem ,just like Hydro then you expect us to eat your waste.

  11. Pete D. says:

    I can truly understand the concerns small business owners are having, I happen to be one as well, but let’s face it, prices are going up every year, I see all my insurance premiums going up, my property taxes, all my utilities, groceries, gas. maintenance, etc. etc. so not all our problems are based on weather we pay someone $ 12 per hour or $ 15 per hour, over the last 10 years, the problems have been the constant increase in prices happening little by little, and it’s as if many people didn’t seem to take much notice ! Now that people who earn minimum wage really need these increases more than ever before due to the incredibly high costs of everything (and it keeps rising !) Nobody questions why electricity has to cost so much when it is a necessity, not a luxury, and I can say the same for groceries and yes even the high cost of owning an automobile, nobody questions why the water tax goes up every year or the property taxes, or everything else for that matter, the real problem here is that nobody can stop all these increases, and almost every increase causes yet another, it is a chain reaction that is destroying the Canadian way of life !
    If only our costs could stop increasing all the time, in fact, if our costs have decreased all around we would not need to raise the minimum wage to $ 15 per hour which really isn’t that much to live on compared to the high cost of living, but it can really help make quite a difference in someone’s life. What will we do in several years from now, when costs have reached yet another all time high, and the minimum wage of $15 per hour will have the same buying power
    as $ 11.60 per hour has today ?

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