THUNDER BAY, ON: Today, the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and the Keep Ontario Working (KOW) Coalition released the final economic impact analysis of Bill 148 by the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis’ (CANCEA), which was peer-reviewed by Professor Morley Gunderson of the University of Toronto. This final report follows CANCEA’s August report outlining the interim findings of this analysis.
CANCEA’s final analysis reveals that if Government were to extend implementation of the minimum wage increase over five years instead of the next 15 months, jobs at risk would decrease by 74 per cent in the first two years. The analysis also indicates that while the proposed changes will see $11 billion in wage stimulus flow into the economy in the next two years, a remaining $12 billion problem exists which will lead to jobs lost, added costs, and general damage to the Ontario economy.
“Today’s final report by CANCEA is clear, while the Government is correct to say that there will be a stimulus from Bill 148, it does not cover the $23 billion cost challenge for business in the first two years – a substantial amount that poses great risk to our economy and cannot be resolved through offsets alone,” said Karl Baldauf, Vice President of Policy and Government Relations at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.
Charla Robinson, President of the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce agrees, “More must be done. The Ontario Government must resolve the economic challenges presented in Bill 148 by slowing down the implementation period, amending the legislation, and providing offsets to business. Business and Government must work together to avoid unintended consequences and protect our most vulnerable.”
“Our risk assessment of the Act is that there is more risk than reward for Ontarians despite the stated goal of the legislation in helping Ontario’s more vulnerable and the Ontario economy,” Paul Smetanin, President of CANCEA. “Given the risk of consolidating income and wealth inequality, putting about 185,000 people out of work, and the risks of small/medium businesses being exposed to their larger competitors, the unintended consequences are significant.”
We will continue to advocate that the government:
- Consider the risks outlined in this economic impact analysis while also conducting their own analysis;
- Implement broad amendments to Bill 148; and,
- Slow down implementation to avoid unintended consequences and protect Ontario’s jobs, communities and our most vulnerable.