Minimum wage protest planned in Ottawa
Members of anti-poverty group ACORN to gather outside Toys "R" Us to call for greater increase
A group of low-income workers are expected to gather outside the Toys "R" Us store on Merivale Road on Saturday to call on the province to raise the minimum wage by more than 75 cents.
Organizers said that the toy store is at the forefront of a business lobby campaigning to keep minimum wages down across Canada.
The protest was organized by the the anti-poverty group ACORN who are pushing for a $14 minimum wage.
Grace Iyobosa, a night shift care worker at the Ottawa Hospital, said the meager increase announced by the province is not enough to help.
"I think $11 is the same as $10.25. It's not going to make any difference," Iyobosa said.
The mother of two said she doesn't earn enough to cover extracurricular activities for her children.
"Two days ago they said they are going for a field trip. She need money. So I can't tell her I have no money. They're kids, they will not understand my situation. So that's why I'm trying my best. I'll see what I can do," she said.
She takes shifts as a supply teacher when she can to top up the earning from her night job but said that barely leaves her better off than if she was on welfare.
Retail lobby group calls increase 'big hit'
Premier Kathleen Wynne has said the new minimum wage is a "fair adjustment" that reflects the rise in the Consumer Price Index. She promised legislation to tie all future increases in the minimum wage to the rate of inflation
The Retail Council of Canada, the lobby group that represents Toys "'R" Us and other employers, said it welcomes the predictability around future increases.
But vice-president Dave Wilkes said that if the latest increase had truly been linked to the Consumer Price Index, the minimum wage would have actually have gone down a dollar.
"If you had applied that formula retroactively, that would have taken minimum wage to about $9.26. The increase to $11 was both inconsistent with the panel's recommendations, but also a pretty big hit to the retail community," he said.