(Photo courtesy morguefile.com)(Photo courtesy morguefile.com)

Minimum wage rises on Sunday

As of Sunday, the minimum wage in Ontario will rise to $16.55 per hour.

The increase is a 6.8 per cent increase from $15.50 and should put another $2,200 more in workers' pockets annually.

Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development David Piccini said the increase will benefit more than 900,000 workers in the province.

"Our government is continuing to deliver steady and predictable annual increases, helping families offset the rising cost of living while also providing certainty to businesses by announcing this increase six months in advance," said Piccini.

The Ontario government first announced the increase to the minimum wage in March.

Piccini used the announcement to tout other advances for workers, including changes last week to the Working for Workers Act.

"For those who think health and safety is just the cost of doing business, we passed the highest health and safety fines in the country, along with new penalties for those who try to abuse vulnerable temporary foreign workers by withholding their passport or work permit," added Piccini.

"Ontario is also the first province in Canada to ban unfair or discriminatory Canadian work experience requirements in more than 30 regulated professions and trades to help newcomers work in the fields they trained for," he said. "This will ensure immigrants are getting a fair shot."

The Ontario government also introduced new job-protected leave for military reservists and is requiring women's only washrooms and protective equipment for women on construction sites.

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