Raise in minimum wage is important for immigrants

Members of Jane and Finch community rally to increase minimum wage (raiseminimumwage.ca)

Members of Jane and Finch community rally to increase minimum wage (raiseminimumwage.ca)

by Christopher C. Sorio (MIGRANTE Canada)

Migrante Canada (Ontario) which is an alliance of 19 Filipino organizations in Canada and have 5 members organizations in the province of Ontario, supports the campaign to increase minimum wage from $10.25 to $14.00 per hour.

For the last three years, the minimum wage in Ontario is pegged at $10.25 and there is a mechanism to address a review process that will look at the necessity of increasing minimum wage.

In a study conducted by Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) in 2008 the report showed that calculates a living wage in Toronto should be more than $10.25 per hour.

The CCPA study which was conducted in 2008, by Hugh Mackenzie and Jim Stanford, calculated that a two parent family with two children would need to make at least $16.60 an hour, working full-time year round, in order to obtain a reasonable standard of living that promotes health, well-being and participation in the full life of their community.

The living wage for a single parent with one child would be $16.15.

According to Sonia Singh of Worker’s Action Centre, there are 544,000 people in the province of Ontario that subsist on a pay of $10.25 an hour, and more than 750,000 earn around $11 or $12 an hour. Singh further adds says many low-wage earners are older and have families to support. They are mostly women, recent immigrants, and people of colour.

This becomes very important, more so to immigrant newcomers in this province. Most immigrant newcomers are earning minimum wage and are at times working two or more jobs in order to meet the needs of their families.

Increasing wage increase will be good for poverty reduction for this province.