Posted on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at 1:35 p.m.
Counties council unhappy over minimum wage law
The eight mayors representing the communities of Prescott-Russell are not happy with the provincial government about Bill 148, the new minimum wage law.
Gary Barton (pictured above), the current warden for the United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR), noted that he and other mayors in the region have heard complaints from local chambers of commerce and other groups who fear the economic impact of the legislation on small business in the province.
“I understand the philosophy of trying to make things better,” Barton said, about the goal of helping low-income workers, “but the way they (province) have gone about it is not good.”
Barton observed that Bill 148 does not just deal with raising Ontario’s current minimum wage to $14 an hour starting in January 2018 and then to $15 in 2019. It also deals with changes to holiday and vacation pay rates, pay differences between part-time and full-time staff, and other items which could affect not just small business, especially in the tourism sector, but also municipalities and other public sector government agencies which are now drafting their 2018 operating budgets.
“There are lots of other things coming in (Bill 148) that could create major headaches,” Barton said.
UCPR administration will prepare a resolution to present to counties council at its regular session later in the month. The resolution will outline council’s concerns to the provincial government about the overall impact of Bill 148 on municipal budgets, small businesses and other groups.