Hiking Ontario’s minimum wage to $15 an hour would play extremely well with Toronto voters, a new Forum Research poll suggests.
The poll, conducted April 4th and 5th, found 70 per cent support for increasing the minimum wage to $15 from its current $11.40. Another 25 per cent of voters disapproved and 5 per cent were unsure.
“Torontonians are strongly supportive of an increase to the minimum wage in Ontario, with seven in ten saying they would support $15.00,” said Dr. Lorne Bozinoff, president of Forum Research, in a release. “An increase could make the rising cost of housing, already an issue for many Torontonians, that much easier to handle.”
The Liberal government announced on March 24 that, for the fourth year in a row, the minimum wage would rise on October 1, to $11.60. The Liberals tied the minimum wage to Ontario’s rate of inflation back in 2014, following recommendations from an advisory panel.
The Ontario NDP are supportive of a $15-an-hour minimum wage, which their cousins in Alberta have committed to doing by 2018. “Will the government start getting the basics right, stop the raises for Hydro One executives, and raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour?” asked NDP Leader Andrea Horwath during question period on April 4.
Labour Minister Kevin Flynn fired back at Horwath that the government had done its homework before settling on the rate of increase for the minimum wage.
“Advocates wanted certainty. They wanted security. Business wanted flexibility,” said Flynn on April 4. “We stood up for people who earn minimum wage in the province of Ontario.”
Forum contacted 840 random Torontonians via phone for its poll. The survey has a margin of error of three percentage points, 19 times out of 20.