In my humble opinion, it sucks to make minimum wage. Right now I don’t, but it wasn’t so long ago that I did, and a lot of parents still DO. Trying to make ends meet on minimum wage is a joke that isn’t even funny anymore. Where I live (Ontario, CANADA), minimum wage was $6.85 in 1995 and stayed that way until 2004 when it went up 30 cents to $7.15. Under tremendous pressure from activists and other starving people, minimum wage has been raised to a whopping $8.75 as of yesterday. Keep in mind that 2007 saw the movement pushing for a $10 minimum wage but instead we got 25 cents, taking us from $7.75 to $8.00 an hour. Thanks a million!

If I sound particularly disgruntled today, it could be because March 31, the day that minimum wage in Ontario was raised to $8.75, was the same day that the “Sunshine List” was released — all those lucky Canadians making over $100,000 per year. Count among them those Ontario MPPs who are getting their third pay raise in 16 months to $116,550 a year. That’s BASE pay, a lot of them actually make more than that. Now, minimum wage didn’t budge one red cent in eight years and has since grown less than two dollars in the last four years. But the base pay for MPPs has risen by almost $28,000 since December 2006. Something stinks.

So that’s my rant. Ain’t no sunshine making minimum wage, that’s for sure, and more than a million people in Canada do exactly that. I think that the wealth in this country could be better distributed. What do you think? It’s not enough for me to say “Stay in school, get your degree, YOU could be doing one of those top dollar jobs.” Most of us will do those things, stay in school, all that, and end up with crippling student loan debt and a middle-of-the-road salary if we’re very lucky.

We all need to do our part, even if you don’t make minimum wage. Better distribution of the wealth means stronger, healthier families and more stable communities. Safer and better for everyone I think.

Find out more at www.amillionreasons.ca.

Let me know your thoughts.

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