Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

Minimum wage: How much is too much?

Document type Report
Author Arseneau, Matthieu
Author Marion, Stefane
Date 2017 September
Pages 6


In June the Ontario government announced its intention to raise the province’s minimum wage by the most in 50 years: 23% this January 1 and another 7% a year later. This move would raise the ratio of minimum wage to average hourly earnings in Ontario from the current 44% to 53% on January 1 and 55% a year later. There is only one precedent among the four largest provinces in Canada for an increase of the minimum wage to such ratios, the experience of Quebec in 1975. Two years after its introduction, this increase was found to be counterproductive. The segments of the labour force most likely to be affected by a surge in the minimum wage are youth (people aged 15-24) and recent immigrants (those landed less than five years ago).