Wednesday, March 21, 2007

So much for budget secrecy

The Ontario government will bump the minimum wage to $10.25 an hour by 2010 in the provincial budget tomorrow, the Toronto Star has learned.

It comes after weeks of pressure on the government from poverty activists and the New Democrats for an immediate hike to $10 an hour from the present $8 an hour.

Instead, the increase will be phased in over three years, sources say. Next year it will jump to $8.75; in 2009 it will go to $9.25 an hour; and in 2010, to $10.25 an hour.

The cautious approach will be backed by a study to be released by Finance Minister Greg Sorbara tomorrow that warns of heavy job losses if the government were to immediately increase the minimum wage to $10 an hour.