Retailers Agree Minimum Wage be Linked to the Ontario Consumer Price Index

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January 27, 2014

minimum wage trends CPI vs actual minimum wageTORONTO — Retail Council of Canada (RCC) supports the Ontario Minimum Wage Advisory Panel’s recommendations announced earlier today. The Panel’s report puts forward a process that is directly linked to the economy, is predictable, and allows retailers lead time to budget and manage changes to their labour costs.

“We’re pleased to see that the Minimum Wage Advisory Panel has adopted RCC’s recommendations,” said Diane J. Brisebois, President of the Retail Council of Canada. “Adopting a CPI-driven minimum wage policy strips the politics out of this important decision and provides the element of predictability that has been lacking in the past.”

“In the past, minimum wage has been set in what can best be described as fits and starts,” says Brisebois. “There were periods of no increases at all followed by sudden, disruptive hikes. It wasn’t transparent, predictable or fair either to businesses or Ontario workers.”

RCC participated in the Advisory Panel and recommended that any changes to Ontario’s minimum wage be linked to key economic indicators, specifically the Consumer Price Index (CPI). RCC notes that other Canadian jurisdictions, including Alberta, Nova Scotia and the Yukon have already successfully moved to depoliticizing the minimum wage-setting process by tying wage increase to economic indicators, including CPI.

RCC encourages the government to apply the recommendations outlined in the report on a go-forward basis. “Any attempt to apply the recommendations retroactively would result in Ontario’s minimum wage being seriously out of step with other Canadian Provinces, and the U.S., which would, in turn, have a direct impact on Ontario’s economy,” says Brisebois.

Retail Council of Canada (www.retailcouncil.org) is the Voice of Retail. Founded in 1963, RCC is a not-for-profit association which represents more than 45,000 stores of all retail formats, including department, grocery, independent merchants, regional and national specialty chains, and online merchants.

For further information:

Devon Pool
Retail Council of Canada
[email protected]
416.801.3204