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Wynne Putting Politics Ahead of Hospitality!

Totally Disconnected from Struggling Small Business Operators

On Tuesday May 30, 2017, Ontario’s hospitality industry was betrayed by Premier Wynne and her majority government, who announced a $15.00 minimum wage by January 1, 2019. Minimum wage will rise to $14 on January 1, 2018. This is a 32% increase within the next 18 months. The hourly rate currently sits at $11.40. Wynne is also ensuring equal pay for part-time workers and increasing the minimum vacation entitlement as part of a major labour overhaul.

Minimum Wage Increase


Premier Kathleen Wynne made yesterday’s announcement in response to a government-commissioned report released last week that included 173 recommendations addressing precarious work. The report did not examine the minimum wage, which is currently indexed to inflation and has been set to rise from $11.40 to $11.60 in October. Wynne says raising it will make a difference  to the lives of millions. She says the minimum wage will increase to $14 an hour on Jan. 1, 2018 and to $15 an hour by 2019. About 30 per cent of Ontario workers currently make less than $15 an hour.


Equal Pay


Wynne also announced that part-time workers will get equal pay for doing work equal to full-time staff.




In yesterday’s announcement, Wynne noted the minimum vacation entitlement will be increased. Instead of getting two weeks of vacation, workers will be able to get three weeks of paid vacation a year after five years of employment with a company.




Wynne included provisions for scheduling. The changes to workplace laws will change the rules for scheduling, including making employers pay three hours of wages if they cancel a shift with fewer than 48 hours notice.


Personal Emergency Leave


Wynne believes employees have the right to take up to 10 days of personal emergency leave each year, two of them paid.




There are other elements to her plan. She heard that enforcement is key to making this work -- so they are stepping that up.




The province will introduce legislation with these policies and others in the Fall 2017. They will consult at first reading.




ORHMA remains active and will continue to participate in discussions with all elected officials and staff to educate them and seek an economic analysis on the impact these policies will have on the restaurants, accommodations and small businesses in Ontario. ORHMA submitted a letter on this matter to Premier Wynne, Minister Flynn and Cabinet Ministers. We will be submitting further comment in the coming days. We are currently searching for an Economist that can be subjective on the impact this will have in Ontario.


ORHMA will continue to work with the "Keep Ontario Working" coalition and other like-minded associations to advocate opposing such drastic costly changes.

Important References: 

Get Involved! 


We strongly encourage you at this time to reach out to your MPP and let them know how these new policies will impact your business.


We would like to hear from you – submit an email about how the $15.00 minimum wage and other new labour laws will impact you and your business.


STEP 1: 


Find their contact information 



Contact your MPP by phone or email. 


Create a letter using template on your letterhead and email to your MPP.  



  • Changes to labour reforms will cost more to operate my business, reduce my ability to hire and impact any growth opportunity for us here in Ontario. 
  • These changes will make my business vulnerable.
  • We do not believe that this is the best time to overhaul Ontario’s hospitality industry. 
  • Layering labour reforms  such as adding sick days increased vacation days and wage increases on top of growing government policies that impact the hospitality sector, rising hydro costs, Canada Pension Plan Enhancements, cap and trade, rising municipal property taxes and the long list of economic challenges faced by the hospitality industry, we ask that the government consider the drawbacks and impact to businesses while considering the timing on amending and changing current labour laws.
  • Regulatory reform that raises costs for business, only to reduce the ability of business to invest in and grow the labour force is counterproductive.
  • We believe that many of the workplace challenges that the government is seeking to address can be solved by improving employer and employee awareness of workplace rights and subsequently redressing violations of those rights. 
  • We see enhanced education and enforcement measures as an important area of common ground for government, employees, and employers.
  • It is essential for the provincial government to conduct a cost benefit analysis before passing any new or amended labour law legislations and / or increasing minimum wage.

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