Businesses could have handled a $15 minimum wage, says CFO
Companies that can't afford $15 minimum wage should reconsider their spending, says Allyson Chisnall
"I've been working with small businesses for many, many years and when I look at where the money goes it's about choices," said Allyson Chisnall, the CFO at MediaStyle, a progressive public affairs and strategy firm founded by former Liberal and NDP staffer Ian Capstick.
"Do you need to take that person out for a meal? Do you need to have the cell phone package that you have? It's a choice. We choose to put our money behind our team," Chisnall told CBC Ottawa's All In A Day on Thursday.
On Tuesday the Ford government introduced the bill which would replace Bill 148. Among its proposals was a a freeze of the minimum wage to $14 an hour until 2020 as part of a rollback of labour reforms.
It's a decision Chisnall didn't agree with and one she says she wasn't consulted on.
Julie Kwiecinski, Ontario director for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, says her members are relieved the changes introduced in Bill 148 are not going through.
She said many said the cost increases were too much to bear.
"On the minimum wage side you were looking at a minimum wage increase of 21 per cent in only three months. No time for businesses to plan (and) they weren't consulted on it," Kwiecinski told All in a Day.
The impact of minimum wage increases aren't limited to employers paying minimum wage, Kwiecinski said. It also affects employers who may make more than the minimum.
But Chisnall doesn't buy the argument.
"The research that I've done shows that in most cities in Ontario you need $15 or more per hour just to live. It's a living wage, it's not a minimum wage. And I know here in Ottawa, working with the team at MediaStyle, when they pay rent and transportation and basic food and accommodation they would need substantially more than that," Chisnall said.
"That's not fair."