By Tom Collins
QUEEN’S PARK — It appears there will be exemptions for farmers regarding aspects of Ontario’s new minimum wage law, but nothing has been finalized, said Ontario Federation of Agriculture president Keith Currie.
Earlier this year, the province announced Bill 148, which will increase minimum wage to $14 an hour Jan. 1 2018 and to $15 an hour on Jan. 1, 2019. Also included in the bill was a cap on overtime hours, giving more work breaks to employees and requiring employers to give a three-day notice on schedule changes.
“We don’t have control over Mother Nature,” said Currie. “We don’t know when the rain’s coming or not coming. And the people we hire understand the environment they work in. They know there’s going to be days where they may be called off because it’s raining or they may have to stay another hour later to finish up whatever they may be doing.”
Currie said the government could have a decision by soon and the province wants everything finalized before Queen’s Park rises on Dec. 14 for Christmas holidays.