Senator Grafstein Wants Bar Raised on Minimum WagePublished on 20 May 2008 Hansard and Statements by Senator Jerahmiel S. Grafstein (retired)
Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein:
Honourable senators, yesterday I questioned the wisdom of the Government of Ontario, a region I proudly represent, with its refusal apparently to increase the minimum wage to $10. Senator Murray, after my statement, questioned whether the federal government had an existing minimum wage standard. To my surprise, and I think to his as well, we discovered that the federal government some years ago had given up the attempt to establish a minimum guideline for wages across
I went further into this question. I did not mean to single out my own province, but I think this would be of interest to senators who represent all provinces and all regions. I have a short outline of the minimum wages across
In looking at this, honourable senators — and the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce has examined the question of productivity — I have been able to discern no satisfactory evidence that raising the minimum wage to $10 across the country would in any way, shape or form impair either our productivity or our competitiveness. I encourage honourable senators to give consideration to this matter and to urge their provincial governments and the regions they represent to change what I consider to be a very unsatisfactory failure to salute the working poor of this country who are seeking to educate their children and to raise them to be contributing members of this country.