, 01.03.2018 09:14 AM

Did Justin Trudeau just give Patrick Brown a gift?

It sure looks that way. Check this out:

Minimum wage hikes across Canada this year could cost about 60,000 jobs, despite the benefits they would bring, the Bank of Canada says in a new report.

The central bank published a report over the winter break, attempting to calculate what sort of economic impact a series of minimum wage hikes set to come into force this year will have on Canada’s economy.

As of Jan. 1, Ontario’s minimum wage is now $14 an hour, up from $11.60. By the end of 2018, Alberta, Quebec and Prince Edward Island are also expected to hike their minimum wages.

At Daisy, we have always paid more than that – and also covered cell phone costs, transit passes, and whatnot.  Toronto, we believe, is an expensive place to live in.

But.

When the angry phone calls from Queen’s Park start heating up, Trudeau’s guys will be able to say (rightly) that they cannot control what the Bank of Canada does and says.  That’s true.  It’s also true that you are not going to see a single Trudeau cabinet minister contradicting the Bank of Canada’s stated view: they can’t.

The political bottom line therefore remains the same: the Ontario PC leader now has a very useful talking point to deal with what was becoming his biggest vulnerability, the minimum wage.  He’ll be able to shrug and say: “Look, it doesn’t matter what I think.  What matters is the Bank of Canada agrees that thousands of jobs are going to be lost.  I’m not against raising the minimum wage – I’m against doing it in a way that costs Ontario jobs.  I’m against doing it as an election stunt, to save a tired old government.”

Will it work?  Probably.

And that’s why we say Mr. Trudeau arguably has given Mr. Brown a very valuable post-Christmas gift.

16 Comments

  1. Jeff Paul says:

    Well hold on here.

    1. The Bank of Canada made this statement, not Trudeau.
    2. You agree that Trudeau can’t tell the bank what to do or say.
    3. Nor can they really dispute the report

    So by not disagreeing with a credible point, Trudeau gives Brown a talking point? I don’t get it

  2. Matt says:

    A report from the Financial Accountability Office in Ontario estimated 50,000 job losses JUST IN ONTARIO because of Wynne’s minimum wage hike.

    A Liberal MPP was on the radio last week saying that report was BS because all the minimum wage hikes since 2003 didn’t cause massive job losses. Well, all those minimum wage hikes were $0.50/h her and $0.90/h there. It went from roughly $7.00/h in 2003 to roughly $11.50 in 2017. It went up roughly $4.50 OVER 14 YEARS. Employers had lots or time to adjust. Now the Liberals are hiking it roughly $3.50 in ONE YEAR.

    A report in June commissioned by the City of Seattle said their minimum wage hike actually hurt the people it waa supposed to help. Because employers had to drastically cut the employees hours, the employees were taking home on average $125 LESS per month.

  3. Cath says:

    You’re right.

    Will Brown’s crew take advantage of said gift?

    That’s the question.

  4. John W. says:

    On a side issue, why has the media lined up almost universally with the business side of the minimum wage, all these weepy sympathetic stories about hard done by business owners?
    We hear little sympathetic coverage of poor single parents trying to hold down two precarious jobs, and not enough money to support a family. Kathleen has made some fine statements about the plight of these families but she has been glossed over as the media has become the propaganda arm of the business viewpoint.
    This new minimum wage will be good for the WHOLE economy no matter what the Bank or anybody else says. Something as simple as healthier kids doing better in school with more stable families. You could on forever.

    • Miles Lunn says:

      People aren’t disagreeing raising the minimum wage is bad, its rather the size and the speed that is the problem. A more modest increase or one this large phased in over a longer time would be fine as businesses would have time to adjust. If you ask anyone who has run a small business, covering a 32% increase in 18 months isn’t easy to do. Sure one can argue wages right now are not fair and should be higher, but the problem is if a person’s skills are low, there is a risk no one will hire them making them worse off. I think all of us would like to eliminate poverty, but the problem is like anything there is a downside to every policy and its not something that can easily be done.

      • John W. says:

        Stop whining and complaining and get down to work. How long did you actually think you could get away with paying people starvation wages with no security, no certainty and the possibility of lay off for no reason, and no benefits.
        I like that Salvation Army commercial about the waitress eating of the discarded plates.
        Just because you have the media even CBC in your back pocket doesn’t mean you are right.

        • Matt says:

          Starvation wages?

          Um, maybe Wynne should stop wasting BILLIONS.

          Maybe she should stop raising service fees on everything under the sun.

          Maybe she could stop all the wasteful spending.

          Maybe she should do something about actually reducing hydro rates instead of her phony plan that is actually going to be far more expensive and lead to even bigger rate increases in a few years.

          Maybe try to, you know, reduce peoples taxes instead of forcing the worst, most fraud and crime infested form of carbon pricing – cap & trade – down Ontarians throats.

        • Miles Lunn says:

          Doesn’t change the fact money doesn’t grow on trees and if you push the minimum wage to a point where a company becomes unprofitable the person loses their job. And saying those businesses should just go under because they cannot pay their employees fairly ignores that if no one else steps in to take their place how does it help. It’s about numbers and arithmetic not emotions and feelings. Liberals are trying to make this an emotional not factual exercise as they think they can win on this. You cannot govern on feelings, you have to govern on facts. Also with minimum wage, it is no doubt difficult to live on it, but to say its causing massive poverty and starving is not true. I’ve actually been to several developing countries where wages are much lower. The point is here is balance. Otherwise put the minimum wage too high and low skilled people are unemployed, but it too low and you have poverty wages so you have to find the right balance. And likewise firms to take time to adjust so if the optimal is $15/hour you do it over a 4-7 year period not in 18 months which is how every other jurisdiction raising to $15/hour has done.

          • John W. says:

            Just about right and wrong. Nothing more nothing less.
            Why don’t you try to find a way to build an economy that treats people with fairness and decency? In a previous time we called it “The Just Society”.

          • Miles Lunn says:

            John W – Fairness is in the idea of a beholder and maybe because it cannot be done and hasn’t been done elsewhere. For those referencing the Nordic Countries, they actually have no minimum wage, instead have high union participation rates. Also in places where minimum wage is over $15/hour like Australia, the cost of most things is much higher so it is relative level. I prefer to look at what works not go on notions of a just society or fair one. An idea can sound great, but if it doesn’t work in the real world governments shouldn’t implement it.

  5. Matt says:

    The pain for employess is beginning:
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/tim-horton-s-tims-timmies-doubledouble-minimum-wage-ontario-kathleen-wynne-labour-1.4470215

    Tim Horton franchise owner eliminates paid breaks and benifits in response to Wynne’s minimum wage hike.

    9 hour shift will only be paid for 8 hours and 20 minutes.

    More than 5 years service, now will only have 50% paid benifits

    Less than 5 years service, now will only have 25% paid benifits

    One employee said losing paid breaks and 50% benifits means he takes home $51 LESS every two weeks.

  6. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Warren,

    Put simply, can you consider any one-income minimum wage as a decent living wage? Not on your life.

  7. billg says:

    The frustrating part of this issue is people like John W.
    “just get on with it”.
    So, for the economical challenged, here is a small business lesson from a person who has run a business since the late 70’s. We do not absorb government’s taxes, fees, licenses and mandated wage increases, you do. Pile on all you want, the consumer pays, or, the business ceases to exist. Make the minimum wage 20 bucks, makes no difference to me, my bottom line will remain, I will put prices up, and if business slows, I will lay people off. If progressives were truly interested in a fair living wage this it what they would do. Cut all ties to the Teachers Unions and fix the F’N education system. Mandate all the wages you want JohnW, it wont make a dent on society’s biggest problem, which is an education system in disarray and so woefully inadequate that it actually does a disservice to our youth. And on this subject Conservatives are as much quivering cowards as Liberals and Dippers. Blue Ribbon panels on poverty, Commissions on poverty, nothing will ever change until the education system gets pulled out of the 1970’s.

    • doconnor says:

      So better education will mean Tim Hortons clerks will be rescued from poverty? Many people already have more education then their job needs.

      • billg says:

        My god this shouldn’t be this difficult.
        You think the people working at Tims and McDonalds and Dollar Store have an education that suits the needs of our current society? Do you really think a Liberal Arts grad knew that the 4 years they spent at York just wasn’t worth it?
        Put the minimum wage up to 20 bucks an hour then if that’s your logic. You want to end poverty? The absolute way is to have governments mandate wages, the only way I know this is there is still poverty and governments still think they can end poverty by mandating minimum wage. You want to end poverty? The absolute best way is to end the archaic manner in which the Teachers Unions dictate hours, class time and after hours. A student coming out of grade 12 should have had over their 12 years the best education money can buy, with more teachers, with more teaching assistants, with more school councilors, with in school phycologists. They should leave grade 12 and for most, they should be directed into trade schools, business schools, medical schools etc., all paid for by the taxpayers of this country. So, ya, a better education does mean thousands of people will be rescued from poverty, its the only thing that ever has.

  8. Aurelia says:

    The problem with all of this analysis is it leaves out all mention of the Small Business Tax Credit that just kicked in in Ontario. A lot of retail and fast food shops will get a nice fat subsidy.
    I also happen to know that these chains are in huge competition for employees and steal them away from each other at the drop of a hat. (That’s why so many offer benefits, unheard of in the old days)
    Third, lots of them have been given HUGE wage subsidies by various provincial and federal job programs and agencies who are sponsoring retraining or hiring young adults just leaving high school or college, or hiring new immigrants who need a start. Tim Horton’s for example, has just been at many provincial agency Job Fairs. I wonder what the govt does to companies who get craploads of govt cash and then complain bitterly. (There are hundreds more businesses just like them too.)

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