Bob Byrnes, a business operator and member of the executive of the Bay St. George Chamber of Commerce, welcomes the provincial government’s plan to index the province’s minimum wage to the national Consumer Price Index.
“I think it’s a good set up as now businesses can anticipate what will happen next year and better prepare for it,” he said.
As a business owner he said he pays his staff higher than minimum wage anyway but is aware that there are local businesses that are hurting because of increased costs.
Byrnes said Ontario came in with that huge new increase and it’s been difficult for businesses there.
“Already, some of my suppliers in Ontario have been telling me they have no choice but to increase prices because of the high minimum wage,” he said.
NDP Leader Lorraine Michael has said the government’s plan to index the province’s minimum wage to the national Consumer Price Index is a good start but is insufficient.
She suggested a plan needs to be put in place to get the wage to a level of $15 as soon as possible through increments in addition to indexing the minimum wage to inflation. The NDP said that minimum wage should be in place by 2021.
Byrnes said it’s all right for the NDP leader and unions to say this to look good in the eyes of voters and union members, but when it comes down to it small business can’t afford a sudden $15 minimum wage in this province.
“We all know that at the end of the day the consumers are the ones who will pay for it with higher prices,” he said.