News Local

Rally Saturday in Barrie to draw attention to minimum wage

Lance Holdforth

By Lance Holdforth, Special to QMI Agency

(QMI AGENCY)

(QMI AGENCY)

A better wage means a better life and that's the message Barrie residents will be trying to get across when a picket line protests the current minimum wage on Saturday.

The rally will take place at Park Place.

As the cost of living increases and the $10.25 minimum wage is at a standstill, city residents are getting on board with the Raise the Minimum Wage Campaign to bring awareness to Ontarians struggling to make ends meet.

"We've got a number of people coming and we're going to have a rally with some signs and things, but it's about trying to raise awareness," rally organizer David Bradbury said. "This is something that is going to be continuing on a monthly basis."

Groups across the province have scheduled rallies on the 14th of every month as a symbol of the $14-an-hour wage many Ontarians, including Barrie residents, deem fit for the current economic climate.

"We need to get minimum wage above the poverty line because when you're in that poverty level it becomes a thing you can't get out of," Bradbury said. "You can't live on a wage like that. Even at full time it leaves you under the poverty level, which is a real problem."

The peaceful protest is designed to bring awareness to the growing numbers of residents finding themselves drifting closer into poverty, despite having part- and full-time employment.

"Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends and it's for food, so that's why we're going to the new U.S. chain restaurants there (Park Place) because inside restaurants like that they always pay minimum wage to the servers," Bradbury said. "A lot of Barrie is retail and all of those jobs pay minimum wage, or close to it, but they certainly pay less than $14 an hour."

"Once you have this epidemic, poverty-level income, it's the kind of thing that becomes insidious from one generation to the next because you can't save money, you can't pay a mortgage, no retirement, no paying for children's education," Bradbury said. "If you can't afford to send a child to college that's a disappointment for them and then perpetuates as time goes on."

The rally will be the first held in Barrie from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., but Bradbury said there are more scheduled and everyone is welcome to visit and voice their concerns.

"If they want to come out, grab some Bristol board and write a message on it," he said.

For more information, visit www.raisetheminimumwage.ca, or visit the minimum wage Barrie Facebook page.

barrie.news@sunmedia.ca

 

 

 

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