The government wants workers in a race to the top, not a race to the bottom. That is why the government has a plan to build up Ontario’s workers by proposing to raise the minimum wage, providing funding so workers can learn new skills, and attracting investment in critical minerals, automotive manufacturing and other industries to create good-paying jobs.
Highlights of the government’s plan to work for workers include:
Working for Workers
- The government is proposing to increase the general minimum wage to $15 per hour effective January 1, 2022. This represents a 4.5 per cent increase over the current minimum wage of $14.35 per hour. Under the proposed changes, the special minimum wage rate for liquor servers would be eliminated and they would be entitled to the general minimum wage. The minimum wage rates for students, homeworkers, hunting and fishing guides and wilderness guides would be increased proportionately to the increase in the general minimum wage.
- To protect Ontario workers from exploitation and labour trafficking, the government is investing $1.1 million in 2021–22 to support a dedicated team of officers to undertake focused inspections of temporary help agencies and recruiters of migrant workers. The pilot will help protect some of Ontario’s most vulnerable and marginalized workers.
Working for Economic Growth
- To strengthen Ontario’s position as one of North America’s premier jurisdictions for responsibly sourced critical minerals, the Province has announced plans to develop its first-ever Critical Minerals Strategy. An abundance of critical minerals in the province will help secure investments such as new electric vehicle technology and create new opportunities for Ontario workers.
- To protect and create jobs in the automotive sector, the Province has secured investment commitments of $5.6 billion from major auto manufacturers for electric vehicle supply chain capacity.
- To address growing competition for investment and supply chain challenges, Ontario is creating a new provincewide two-year $40 million Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Competitiveness stream, which is part of the Regional Development Program.
- To support businesses and the workers they employ, Ontario has enabled an estimated $10.1 billion in cost savings and support in 2021, with more than 60 per cent, or $6.3 billion, going to small businesses in the province.
- To encourage entrepreneurship, the government is providing Futurpreneur Canada with $1 million in new funding in 2021–22 to help expand support for young entrepreneurs in Ontario.
- To help the tourism and hospitality sectors recover and encourage Ontario families to explore the province, the government is proposing a new temporary Ontario Staycation Tax Credit for 2022. The credit would provide an estimated $270 million to support over one and a half million families to further discover Ontario.
- To strengthen Ontario’s agri-food supply chain, Ontario is investing up to $25 million over three years in a new Strategic Agri-Food Processing fund to support projects that will enhance processing capacity and food security.
Working for Skilled Workers
- To provide more training opportunities for workers, the government is proposing to extend the Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit to 2022. The 2022 credit extension would provide an estimated $275 million in support to about 240,000 people, or $1,150, on average.
- To help workers get good jobs, Ontario is investing an additional $90.3 million over three years starting in 2021–22 in the Skilled Trades Strategy. Key new initiatives include creating a skilled trades career fair as well as enhancing the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program and Pre‑Apprenticeship Training Program.
- To support workers who need training to get a job, Ontario is investing an additional $5 million in 2021–22 to expand the Second Career program.