News From Queen's Park

Province Increases Minimum Wage
As of October 1st, Ontario will be increasing the general minimum wage from $11.25 an hour to $11.40. Wages will also increase for liquor servers, students under 18, hunting and fishing guides, and homeworkers. This will be the 10th minimum wage increase since the year 2003. In 2014, the Ontario government tied minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index, which ensures that regardless of any kind of economic shift, Ontarians will always be getting the same or more value out of their minimum wage. This means that Ontarians never fall behind in terms of standard of living and buying power.

Addressing Climate Change with First Nations People in Ontario
Ontario is investing $13 million into two separate initiatives in an effort to partner with indigenous communities to help solve the climate crisis. Of that money, $5 million will be going to the Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources, in partnership with the Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation. This money will help provide indigenous communities with the tools and infrastructure they need to develop community-led climate action plans, and take full advantage of the new Cap and Trade system.

The remaining $8 million will be used to help with the development of microgrids in Aboriginal communities. These microgrids will help rid these communities of their reliance on diesel fuel, which helps both the communities and Ontario reach its emissions goals by 2050.

Update to the Affordable Housing Strategy
The Ontario government is updating its strategy to combat homelessness with legislative and policy measures as well as new investments which total $178 million given out over the next 3 years. $100 million will be given to supportive housing, which includes the construction of 1500 new supportive housing units. $17 million will be provided to a pilot program which hopes to support thousands of survivors of domestic violence, and an additional 45 million will be given to the Community Homeless Prevention Initiative.

The new policy measures announced will include mandatory inclusion of affordable housing units in municipal housing zones, as well as a new indigenous housing strategy created with the cooperation of the indigenous community.