An official with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce says raising the minimum wage as quickly as planned will hurt businesses and consumers.
The Chamber's Vice President of Policy & Government Relations, Karl Baldauf, spoke with members of the Huron Chamber Friday during a breakfast at the town's Beach Street Station.
Baldauf discussed the province's plans to raise the baseline wage to $14 an hour in 2018, and $15 in 2019.
He calls the pace of change dramatic, with no other jurisdiction in the world having increased wages as quickly.
The increase marks a roughly 32 per cent increase in wages paid by business owners, something Baldauf says will significantly effect restaurants, manufacturing, and tourism.
He expects employers will be forced to slow hiring, raise prices for consumers, and cut hours for staff.
Among the groups opposing the wage increase are the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Restaurants Canada and the Canadian Franchise Association.
Baldauf expects parents will be paying 12 per cent higher fees for daycares in 2018, while retirement home prices will also jump.