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Cuts similar to some Ontario Tim Hortons locations could come to B.C., says analyst

An Ontario Tim Hortons made cuts to employee benefits and paid breaks after the minimum wage was raised.
An Ontario Tim Hortons made cuts to employee benefits and paid breaks after the minimum wage was raised. Eduardo Lima / The Canadian Press

Some blue-collar workers in Ontario are feeling the pinch from employers after the province’s minimum wage went up to $14 per hour on Monday.

CKNW business analyst Robert Levy said it’s very possible the same thing could happen in B.C. if the minimum wage is increased to $15.

Levy says the increase in labour costs could push companies to start axing some jobs.

“The other question that immediately comes to mind is you think of the restaurant industry or the fast food service industry is the trend that we see to automation. And the second you raise the cost of labour, the technology becomes that much more efficient to compete with it or that much more accessible to compete with it.”

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He adds some companies could start to look at automation to replace that section of the work force.

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“There’s wins and losses but in general, people who are working a minimum wage job would be the ones suffering the consequences if they’re in an industry or they have an employer that can no longer afford to pay them at a higher wage and be competitive or make a profit.”

The owners of a Tim Hortons in Ontario have eliminated paid breaks and are starting to cut back on some benefits following the province’s minimum wage being pushed up.

The Bank of Canada estimates more than 60,000 jobs will be lost by 2019 after wage increases across the country.

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