Community Frugal Crowd

Canadian Campaign for a $14 Minimum Wage in Ontario: On the 14th of Every Month-Starting Today 2013

Ontario-Wide Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage to $14
Ontario-Wide Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage to $14

This is an update to the following previous blog Your Input: Canadian Poverty Consultation for Ontario Until October 2013.

low income measure graph minimum wage 2013

A fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work; that’s what Ontario workers need. The minimum wage – the lowest legal rate of pay – should make sure that when you work, you earn enough to live on. But in the 3 years since Ontario’s minimum wage was frozen, inflation has driven down minimum wage earnings 19% below the poverty line.1

The minimum wage should bring workers and their families out of poverty.

The minimum wage should be set 10% above the poverty line, using the Low Income Measure.

The minimum wage should be calculated based on a 35-hour week.

Ontario’s hourly paid employees work, on average, less than 35 hours a week. We should assume a 35-hour work week when calculating a minimum wage that will bring workers out of poverty.

The minimum wage should be updated every year with the cost of living.

Ontario should join the three other provinces and territories that
have already adopted this policy.

“We are all struggling to live on the minimum wage. When you go to the grocery store, food prices are way up. Rent is increasing every year. We are hard working people. But with the current minimum wage, it’s either you go hungry or pay the rent.”
Workers’ Action Centre member

Following these principles, Ontario’s minimum wage should be $14.00 in 2013!

1  The 19% gap is derived from the difference between the $10.25 minimum wage and LIM for 2013. The current minimum wage is $18,655 per annum; based on 35 hour work week. In 2013, the Low Income Measure is $23,105; based on Before Tax LIM for a 1 person household calculated from 2010 LIM plus 2% CPI. Source: pub/750002m/2012002/tbl/tbl03-eng.htm .

Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage is a Province-wide Day of Action Starting August 14th!

Exciting plans are coming together for the first day of action for a $14 minimum wage.  On the 14th of every month, communities will be mobilizing for a $14 minimum wage – starting today Wednesday August 14th!

Check out the creative actions — Monopoly Street Theatre, Pop-up Street Parties, Pots and Pan rallies and more!!!

Join an action at the following locations!

Community Frugal Crowd Health & Wellness Videos

Put Food in the Budget: Please Urge Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to Raise Social Assistance Rates Now!

This video (May 27, 2013) presents “Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, announces social assistance plans at City Hall in Windsor.”

  • Premier Kathleen Wynne was at the City of Windsor’s Employment and Training Services today to highlight the government’s commitment to transforming social assistance, helping people keep more of their hard-earned money while entering the workforce.

  • In the 2013 Budget, the government laid out its plan to move forward on implementing key recommendations from the Lankin-Sheikh report by creating a $200 monthly earnings exemption for people who receive benefits from Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program.

  • The government would also increase social assistance rates, create more inclusive workplaces for people with disabilities and work to reduce poverty rates in Ontario.

  • The 2013 Budget is designed to create jobs and help people in their everyday lives. By taking steps to remove barriers to employment, the government wants to make it easier for more social assistance recipients to enter the workforce and ensure that everyone in Ontario is treated fairly.

Hundreds of thousands of Ontario residents in Canada do not have enough to eat each month and, thus, are forced to go to food banks every month because of inadequate incomes.

Since 1970 the middle class is shrinking as poverty is growing in Toronto.

Here are some statistics on food banks in Canada.

  • 900,000 Canadians used food banks in 2010.
  • 50 percent of people who need food banks stay away out of shame.
  • $6.6 billion is the annual estimated cost of unhealthy eating in Canada.
  • 38 percent increase in the number of working poor in Canada between 1998 to 2008.
  • More than 10,000 people have completed the Do the Math campaign highlighting inadequate welfare rates.

The Toronto Star gives the following statistics regarding who’s on social assistance as of June 2012.

  • Ontario Works (OW)
    • 477,339 individuals, or about 3.6 per cent of the population;
    • 171,867 are children;
    • average age: 36;
    • 60 per cent of cases are singles;
    • 30 per cent are single parents;
    • 3 per cent are couples without children;
    • 8 per cent are couples with children; and
    • about 75 per cent of children are in families led by single parents.
  • Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)

    • 415,338 individuals or about 3.1 per cent of the population;
    • 43 percent of applicants have a physical disability;
    • 39 percent have a mental disability;
    • 18 percent have a developmental disability;
    • about 60 percent of new applicants in 2009-10 were suffering from mental illness;
    • 59,403 are children;
    • average age: 46;
    • 77 per cent are singles;
    • 9 per cent are single parents;
    • 8 per cent are couples without children;
    • 6 per cent are couples with children; and
    • just over half of children are in families led by single parents.

In the following letter, Put Food in the Budget is asking for our help to urge Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to immediately raise social assistance rates to levels that ensure lives of health and dignity.