I’m so tired of these politicians and their “if I get elected” statements. Fam, we gave you four years for that.
So yes, sure, on January 1, 2022 Doug Ford’s administration approved a minimum wage increase to $15, but I very clearly remember that in 2019, Doug Ford cancelled a planned minimum wage increase, and why? For no reason other than, he could. And now, less than 90 days before an election he wants to get back on board saying that if we re-elect him he’ll boost the minimum wage again up to $15.50. I feel like I’m playing peek-a-boo with my infant. First, you have it, then it's gone, now it's back.
Why are we allergic to long-term planning? Either you care about lifting people out of poverty, or you consent to the exploitation of Ontarians who work 40 hours a week, but still can’t afford to provide for their families.
Our ability to feed our families cannot continue to be election fodder.
And I don’t know why more people aren’t irritated by these short-sighted governing tactics. Maybe it’s because when we think of minimum wage, we think of the smart-mouthed 16-year-old teenager who gives us popcorn at the movie theatre and, we think, “who cares they’re just going to buy video games”.
But that’s simply not true.
The impact of our minimum wage is huge. It is especially pronounced for the 70% of minimum wage earners who are grown folks (according to 2019 statistics) and are more likely to be janitorial staff at your local shopping centre, early childhood assistants at your local daycare, or overnight staff at the retirement home.
Now when I say OUR ability to feed OUR families, I do, quite literally mean US. Turns out that when you raise the minimum wage, you support Black women (and thus, Black families). Recently, a report capturing the impact of Ontario’s 2018 minimum wage increase was released and shows that after the 2018 wage hike, Black women in Ontario saw, on average, wage gains of 4.9% on an hourly basis and 5.2% when you take a look at weekly earnings.
When was the last time you got a 5% increase, on your weekly earnings, overnight?
It is quite the adjustment. And it’s the type of adjustment we need as we watch wages hold steady while costs skyrocket.
I’m not playing whack-a-mole with an administration that offers reactionary promises that get them votes. I’d rather look to other provincial parties that have remained committed to us, our families and our wellbeing.