Dear that there are many links between income and

Dear Prime
Minister,

 

I am Vikki Wan, a student at Queen’s University in
Kingston. In my course on the Social Determinants of Health, I learned that
there are many links between income and health such as determinants of poverty,
housing and early life opportunities, access to care, and psychosocial stress.
I was very concerned to hear that the minimum wage is going to dramatically
increase to $15 beginning from October 2018. Without a well thought out plan,
the increase may cause unintended consequences such as a decrease in employment
and inflation of basic needs, hurting those the government are trying to help,
the low-income families. This is a public health crisis that demands our
immediate attention and intervention.

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Basic
income itself will not be able to completely eliminate poverty. However, there
are many different ways to aid the low-income families, but it has to be done
correctly. Like Armine Yalnizyan, the senior economist of the Canadian Centre
for Policy Alternatives, said “You can either give people more money, or you
can actually reduce the things that make not having money a health problem.” If
the minimum wage dramatically increases, it may help improve the standard of living
for low income families but the government should also keep in mind that this
significant increase will most likely reduce employment as well. With the
dramatic increase in minimum wage, it will also increase the interest of low
income occupations. In addition, the increase in minimum wage would mean a
higher cost of labour, which will affect the profit of companies negatively or
increase the cost of goods. Another solutions companies can also result to is
to reduce production but if the business becomes unsustainable, it will result
in the elimination of many small businesses, causing a loss of jobs
opportunities for many in the community. With the dramatic increase in minimum wage, there will also be a rise of
interest of low income occupations. In addition, the increase in minimum wage
would mean a higher cost of labour, which will affect the profit of companies
negatively or increase the cost of their goods. Another solutions companies can
result to is to reduce production but if the business become unsustainable, it
will result in the elimination of many small businesses, causing a loss of jobs
opportunities for many in the community. There has been a recent study
conducted, showing that teen employment has dramatically decreased as the
minimum wage increased. This is critical because teens are the core earners in
low-income families. Therefore, the overall outcome of the increase of minimum
wage to $15 will cause a substantial increase of the population falling below
the low-income cut offs.

 

I urge your
Government to act on the following recommendations if Ontario implements such a
steep increase the minimum wage. The change of minimum wage needs to be implemented
gradually so companies such as small-sized enterprises have time to adjust. Since
businesses and living costs are lower in rural areas compared to urban areas,
the minimum wage should reflect on that, meaning minimum wages in rural areas
should be lower compared to urban areas. In addition, Canada may implement
something California has tried, to have flexibility to delay the increase of
minimum wage in case of recession. A similar strategy can be implemented here
to alleviate the sudden impacts.

 

Thank you
for your attention to this urgent matter.