City braces for $3.6M cost of minimum wage increase

The City of Ottawa is bracing for the cost of a provincial minimum wage hike, which it says will cost the municipality millions of dollars.

Ontario plans to boost the hourly minimum wage of $11.40 an hour to $14 by 2018, and to $15 the following year.

According to a preliminary analysis of the City's payroll, the move will cost the City $2.1M in 2018 and $1.5M in 2019.

The City treasurer says staff have been directed to explore options to mitigate the impact of the minimum wage change, but Coun. Tim Tierney says he wants more details.

Tierney filed an official inquiry about the matter and says he wants to know whether the cost will be passed along to residents, in the form of recreation fees.

"I want to know, is this purely from the tax base? Is this a hybrid model, where we're going to be increasing certain program costs?" said Tierney, speaking on News & Views with Rob Snow. "If you start saying yoga is now $300 versus $100 - this is not the case by the folks. But maybe the enrollment will drop."

Tierney’s inquiry about the costs of the minimum wage increase will be discussed September 5.

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