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Minimum wage: How an employee feels

Saturday, April 12, 2014   by: Darren Taylor

In February, the Ontario government introduced its Fair Minimum Wage Act.

The bill, if passed, would tie future annual minimum wage increases to Ontario's Consumer Price Index, in an effort to make sure the province's minimum wage keeps up with the cost of living for individuals and families at a predictable, manageable rate for employers.

Meanwhile, Ontario’s minimum wage will increase from $10.25 per hour to $11 per hour beginning June 1 (the highest minimum wage in Canada).

That, Sault resident Jennifer Rowe told, is still not enough.

Rowe (pictured) is a married mother of two children.

Her husband is currently employed and works for a slightly higher than minimum wage, plus commission. 

Rowe currently has two jobs.

She makes slightly more than minimum wage at one of those jobs, for about 15 to 20 hours a week.

Rowe said her other employer has informed her that specifically because of the minimum wage increase, he will be losing money as a business owner and her hours will be cut.

In fact, Rowe said, her hours have already been dramatically cut by that employer.

“Two weeks out of the last month I’ve had no hours at all, and there was one week before then I worked a total of 12 hours.”

This comes two months before the June 1 minimum wage increase takes effect.

“Basically we are two under-employed people in their late 20s trying to live on minimum wage with two kids to look after, one who is school age, one who is not, and with our level of student debt we would be homeless if we weren’t living with my husband’s parents,” Rowe said.

Rowe has two degrees from Algoma University.

Her husband has also studied at Algoma, with a background in business studies.

“We can’t afford an apartment and the utilities that go with it, so right now we’re among those invisible homeless people that you don’t really hear about very much because we’re not sitting out on the street begging for change.”

Even if both she and her husband worked full-time, $11 an hour is not enough, Rowe said.

Dismissing the claims of most employers who say increases in minimum wage will hurt their bottom line, Rowe said “I know most businesses nowadays are not little, independently owned stores like they were  years ago.”

“Most of the stores now are franchises and big box stores, they’re multi-million dollar earners, some of them are multi-billion dollar earners.”

“The line they give, that they can’t afford to give people a living wage of $13 or $14 an hour is just a lie,” Rowe said.

When CEOs of large retail companies award themselves huge bonuses, Rowe said, “there’s no reason they can’t afford to pay people $14 an hour.”

“If people like myself could have that money, we would spend it as soon as we got it on essential items, which helps our economy…we wouldn’t put it in an offshore bank account or save it up for a vacation.”

“If we were lucky we could save some and maybe buy a house, a car, and that would help the economy of Sault Ste. Marie…$14 an hour would be amazing,” Rowe said.

Critics, such as a coalition of anti-poverty activists and union representatives, have banded together and are urging the province to raise minimum wage to $14 an hour, not only to give minimum wage earners more financial breathing room, but also as a vitally important step towards better health for workers.

The current $11 an hour, they say, keeps people in poverty, which in turn leads to poorer diet, inability to buy prescription drugs or vitamins, poorer health, more sick days, lost productivity and a greater strain on Ontario’s healthcare system.

Rowe agrees, saying herself, her husband and children have suffered through winter colds and the flu without coverage for medications because of being stuck in a low-paid, part-time rut.

Fortunately, Rowe says no one in her family is chronically ill at present, but her husband has been informed by doctors that he could one day develop multiple sclerosis.

“It’s frightening…right now our strategy for dealing with that is to not think about it, it’s a long and scary road.”

“I hate to sound horribly melodramatic about it, but we have no hope.”

“Our hours and wages are so low, and it’s Sault Ste. Marie, there’s not a whole lot here for anyone, especially people our age.”

Added to that frustration is the feeling that she cannot provide for her childrens future, Rowe said.

Rowe said it would be difficult to leave the Sault, her hometown, but said she and her husband are considering leaving the community for employment elsewhere (Ottawa is their first choice, she said).

The Fair Minimum Wage Act has passed second reading in the Ontario Legislature, and the Liberal government is urging the Progressive Conservatives and the NDP to support it.

With Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals in a minority government situation, and with speculation growing that an Ontario general election looms, the Fair Minimum Wage Act may not pass.

Nevertheless, Rowe is committed to courageously battling on.

“I have no choice, I have two kids, I just can’t throw in the towel and give up,” Rowe said.

“I have to do everything I can for them, and I’m grateful for every minute of time and every ounce of compassion my family has for us, but the only thing that can make a difference for us is a higher wage, a living wage, something that can break us out of this hole we’re in.”

Related reading

Minimum wage: How employers feel

Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Hounds Fan 4/12/2014 4:23:30 PM Report

As much as we can gripe about businesses being able to afford a high wage increase, they'll never give wage increases without cutting costs somewhere else whether it be cutting employees or cutting hours; this in conjunction with high prices is business and companies don't stay in business without making money
AlwaysAWinner 4/12/2014 4:27:33 PM Report

honestly, this is just a massive pity party

sorry but you shouldn't of had kids if you can't afford them. if you want to have kids when you're young and not have a career already set, don't whine and complain about minimum wage being too little for you. no one told you or forced you to have kids. if you didn't want an abortion because of religious reasons, that's your problem

the SMART people know that an increase in minimum wage will result in more firings, less hours, and more part time work resulting in less full time employees, meaning no benefits

take a class in business or economics, find out how a business works first, THEN make complaints. don't sit there with two kids and whine about minimum wage saying things like “The line they give, that they can’t afford to give people a living wage of $13 or $14 an hour is just a lie,”

oh it's just a lie? go run a business and tell me that's a lie. you clearly have never run a business or even understand how to run a business if you say things like that

guess what, get an education, get a career, do things the right way
pope29 4/12/2014 4:38:20 PM Report

If he could have consistently got his fastball up to 94 or 95 mph he would have had a great career. Absolutely!
Maple2111 4/12/2014 4:40:02 PM Report

Until we walk in someone elses shoes we have no right to judge them .
We have all made good and bad decisions and In my opinion children are a blessing not a decision .
Me Myself an I 4/12/2014 4:42:14 PM Report

There was a study in the states that said If Walmart paid their employees a living wage then yes they would half to raise prices. Aprox 1.4% so it would cost you an extra $1.40 for every $100 dollars you spent there.
AlwaysAWinner 4/12/2014 4:45:20 PM Report

that study was ridiculously flawed and assumed one states laws/profit for the other 49. it's not science or fact at all
kbaybiie 4/12/2014 4:45:58 PM Report


Are you serious?! Telling this lady that she should have had kids?! Things happen, things out of our control. I very much dislike arrogant people like you. Sure having childern may come sooner then expected but you have to be something else to tell someone that.

I too have a child that was unplanned but very much the biggest part of my life (along with school and family) And didn't you hear that she has a UNIVERSITY DEGREE ! For all you know she could have gotten her degree, worked in her trade/field, maybe something happened?! No people like you are a 'work of art' (however I would call the artist Vincent van Gogh).

I am in a similar situation but you know what I'd much rather face any challange life throws at me rather then have everything handed to me on a 'silver platter'. and Always... I'd watch it because some of this 'pity party' might just be one day be making more money then you could even imagine. GET A REAL PERSPECTIVE ON LIFE WOULD YOU
Grizz72 4/12/2014 4:47:44 PM Report

what do you people think!!! when minimum wage increases so does everything else, there is already an increase in PUC, union Gas, gasoline, hell milk and bread cost you $10,00 now a days, raise minimum raise any higher and it just makes the cost of living cost rise minimum wage is more than fair at $11.00.
AlwaysAWinner 4/12/2014 4:49:04 PM Report

I do have a REAL PERSPECTIVE ON LIFE you dummy, that's why I don't BLAME MINIMUM WAGE for my issues and accuse businesses of LYING because they can't afford to pay a higher minimum wage
itsme29 4/12/2014 5:01:41 PM Report

we don't need a higher minimum god what do people want for flipping a burger... what we need is for minimum wage to be based on the jobs being done. if u cant live on the minimum wage now u need to find a better job that's all there is too it. if we raise the minimum wage to 20bucks an hour then the price of a fast food burger goes up..only one that looses is the middle class because they have to pay more for everything and there wages don't go up to compensate... and they don't get the tax breaks of the minimal wage people or the rich for that matter...
Zap 4/12/2014 5:03:34 PM Report

Minimum wage sucks either way. After all the deductions it worthless like the health care system and politicians.
irishfey 4/12/2014 5:04:16 PM Report

Alwaysawinner....Your post was an INSULT to half the people in the Soo!!!.. You really are a "" winner""!! go join hands with Kathleen,, you both make me sick!!
Twistinwrenches 4/12/2014 5:08:42 PM Report

Minimum wage jobs are not intended to support a family. They are for people starting out or a second income.Some people are not worth 14 dollars an hour. It will make it harder for people to find a job. If 14 dollars is good why not make it 30 dollars and everyone will be wealthy.
kbaybiie 4/12/2014 5:08:47 PM Report

I never said you did. But my goodness!! Telling someone that they shouldn't have had childern is A NEW KIND OF LOW... You sound like someone that had everything handed to them because you sure don't seem to know what hard work or reality is. Anyways I'm through with this and Always your reaction is typical to this "stereo-type" because I can guarentee that you've never had to work under todays conditions with a minimal wage job.

In what you may call a 'nut shell' is the cost of living here has gone way up meanwhile minimal wage hasn't compensated at all. There's nothing the 'middle class' can do. Because like they say the rich get richer and the poor become poorer, it's just how society works now a days.
eadiecougs 4/12/2014 5:08:49 PM Report

Always a loser did ever read the story about the walmart owners one of them spent a billion dollars for a museum '' she said quote I wanted the family to do something for the comunity how about give your employee's a raise dumb wit .Its greed for most companies because it will hurt thier profits look at mac donalds its all BS
bulletcards 4/12/2014 5:09:14 PM Report

live within your meens. if you don't make a lot of money you have to downsize your lifestyle. all the minimum wage earners won't be happy until they make $50/hour. the more employees get paid, the more prices go up and hours/jobs lost, to compensate for profit lose. I don't get why this is news for anyone. Her husband has a business education??? he doesn't understand?
kbaybiie 4/12/2014 5:11:31 PM Report

Not to mention how many college students drop out because lack of money or funding because all they can get in a MINNIMUM WAGE JOB.
Number One Son 4/12/2014 5:20:38 PM Report

If the woman interviewed and her husband have university degrees like they say, then get off your butts and put them to use. No one with a university education should ever be without meaningful income. You are not "entitled" to fair employment, .... go out and get it.
nailr 4/12/2014 5:23:59 PM Report

It's absolutely ridiculous that the middle class and low income earners bitch about themselves trying to make a decent wage!Why don't you people who have a problem with people getting paid a decent dollar, start complaining about the CEO's and business owners that make millions off of the working class, pay themselves millions of dollars in wages and benefits per year, and then start whining because they feel us peons are making too much money when getting paid $12-15$ per hour. In the last 25 years it is a proven fact that the upper class have increased their income by 50%. whereas the low and middle class income earners have seen their wages increase a ridiculous 5-10%. Where is the validity in this scenario?Start blaming the true culprit , the greedy big businesses and their shareholders and the upper echelon in our society!If anything, perhaps it's time for the little man on the totem pole to start revolting against the obscenity of the people making millions a year. They are no better than you or me.
kbaybiie 4/12/2014 5:29:29 PM Report

nailr you nailed in on the head! well said
KALEB 4/12/2014 5:30:46 PM Report

“If people like myself could have that money, we would spend it as soon as we got it on essential items, which helps our economy…we wouldn’t put it in an offshore bank account or save it up for a vacation.”

An interesting perspective on minimum wage to bring forward for discussion. However, for someone with two degrees from Algoma University, this quote was very uneducated, irresponsible and judgmental on Ms. Rowe's behalf. Just my opinion.
Wicket 4/12/2014 5:32:02 PM Report

Female, four year university degree, no work in the Soo in her field; American chain store manager, with store responsibilities, will no longer make more than the part-time employees with no responsibilities and will not get a raise because she is management. Typical of what is happening in Soo stores including the fast food chains and the average person is totally unaware of this.
Cannot believe the personal insults, no one is aware of someone else's circumstances...
steelworker 4/12/2014 5:33:36 PM Report

Some people have no "drive". They think that the world owes them a living because the have a university degree. The only people making money in the education field are the universities themselves. It's a business just like any other-suck the sheep in and shear them for all their money. It sounds like these two people pissed away a lot of money at Algoma U. in return for something that was quite useless in the real world.
sunnie 4/12/2014 5:34:31 PM Report

@Always a winner
You are quite an arrogant, opinionated, ignorant person.
No child is a mistake they are a blessing to those of us who are fortunate to have them under any circumstance that they are conceived.
I was raised of the knowledge that if you have nothing nice to say then keep your mouth shut.
I actually wasn't going to respond to your comment for that exact reason but the children won on this one. Have a blessed wonderful day.
muf 4/12/2014 5:40:23 PM Report

" if u cant live on the minimum wage now u need to find a better job that's all there is too it"
Is there a tree somewhere loaded with the "Good Jobs" where a person can pluck a good job from ?
Sounds like someone is comparing apples to oranges
Drmcorpschick 4/12/2014 5:43:03 PM Report

It is sad that the opportunity in this community is dwindling. Also that between this couple there are 3 degrees and they still struggle to make it. I guess I myself am not one of those 'smart people' I had just begun my career and found out I was expecting. I hate people sometimes. All they do is sit here and rant when they are the ones who really need a life! I hope this family gets to where they need to financially. Having a family is a wonderful life experience and I would not change my family for the world. Afterall I have been trying to have a family for 10 years and FINALLY yet unexpectedly had started mine.
jinch1 4/12/2014 5:59:22 PM Report

If the south moved some of there jobs north they would have less traffic problems and we in the north would have better, high paying jobs.
ThinkAgain 4/12/2014 6:12:23 PM Report

I agree with the original story.
You can't comment unless you live in poverty and understand how hard it is.
Lets face it, if you want more the minimum wage you have to move.
Opstday 4/12/2014 6:15:18 PM Report

Sunnie. -you sound like a born again Christian on a soapbox!
jowo60 4/12/2014 6:16:52 PM Report

If anyone out there has a minimum wage job they don't want because it pays too low, I would be happy to work it. Four years of post secondary education has been expensive. I don't feel I should be paid more if the JOB doesn't warrant it.
Dead End Kid 4/12/2014 6:31:44 PM Report

How about some kind of escalating minimum wage where if the employer exceeds a government decided yearly profit margin and they have an excess number of employees they would have to pay a higher minimum wage than a smaller run business. The employer would have to submit a report to the government on a regular basis. Just an idea,I'm not saying that it would work.
scottstewy123 4/12/2014 6:35:04 PM Report

You can raise minimum wage to 20 bucks an hour. But it will not change anything. Everything will skyrocket in prices. So how does that change. You people that fight to raise the minimum wage do not have a clue at economics. WHEN A BUSINESS HAS INCREASED COSTS 1 OF 2 THINGS MUST HAPPEN. 1 COSTS MUST GO UP or 2 EMPLOYEES MUST BE LAID OFF.
But in most cases both options would happen. So I have to ask Rowe? How does this make your status in life any better? Instead of loaf a bread that you need for your children's lunches cost between 2 and 4 dollars it will cost 5 to 6 bucks per loaf. Now tell me how's that pay raise working out for you. EVERYTHING under the sun will be raised in prices. The only thing that will not change is you crying for what you do not have. Raising minimum wage will do nothing but bring in more poverty. GET A CLUE PEOPLE
AHappyMan 4/12/2014 6:49:47 PM Report

I find some of the posts made on here extremely rude. Before someone starts to rant on about me or my post, let me say that I am a senior and of course I am retired now. For decades, the CEO's of some of the multinational companies we have in Canada are being paid ridiculously high wages. Some of these same CEO's also get paid a huge bonus each year even if they have not run their company very efficiently.

There is also some truth to the fact that if the minimum wage is raised, the prices for - well everything - go up which usually negates the increase in a person's minimum wage increase. This is a sad fact of life, especially these days.

To tell someone to not have children IS an insult to the parents. Children are a blessing, regardless of the financial abilities of the parents!! The Sault used to have many 1,000's of people working at Algoma Steel decades ago. It is a totally different scene in this fine city today however.

I believe that if a man and woman both have a university degree, and they can not find employment here in the field they have studied ... it is time for them to uproot their family and go where the work is. That is the only thing they can do if they wish to get ahead.

I do find it insulting to read some of these posts where people are being rude for no reason. I guess if it comes down to it, I think $11/hr is ok for a beginner job but there is no way in hell that a family can be raised on that wage alone today!

Maybe what this country requires is a " maximum wage ' so that nobody gets paid such a high salary that the gap between the rich and the poor gets wider and wider and the middle class simply collapses under the strain of paying for everything.

Other views are welcomed at anytime.
IgnorantNortherner 4/12/2014 6:54:21 PM Report

Where did you study econ scottstewy?

1. increase profits or
2. decrease costs
Resident 4/12/2014 7:01:12 PM Report

Dead End Kid: Interesting concept and I think worth investigating! Why not pass it on to MPP, MP? I know there will be one or two "know it alls" that immediately put it down but...
H.E.T. 4/12/2014 7:03:34 PM Report

Trying to make ends meet on min wage is hard almost impossible, we all know that. But when you do raise the min wage you get a small boost but when the cost of living index goes up to match the min wage increase your boost becomes an added expense to everyone. The energy sector just got permission to raise the rates by as much as 40%, just to up the profits into the 10's of billions. Don't kid yourself the gov doesn't give a shit about you. Big business buys politicians and makes the rules. Any increase to the min wage will come back as an increase in everything to everyone.
Sunnidelight 4/12/2014 7:05:14 PM Report

Isn't it interesting that an editorial piece about Ontario minimum wage has turned into a treatise on Planned Parenthood?

I also find it interesting that the article and almost all the comments are filled with spelling and grammar errors. Learning to effectively use the English language might be the first step toward impressing an employer and getting a better job.
steelworker 4/12/2014 7:06:44 PM Report

Let's see here: go to university and get 3 degrees,have kids (but no way to support them),sit on your butt waiting for someone to hand you a life on a golden platter. When Plan A fails run to the media crying about the unfairness of life and the great injustices you are suffering. Obviously these two never thought about "Plan B".
ThinkAgain 4/12/2014 7:21:04 PM Report

There is nothing wrong asking for a fair wage.
More and more people using food banks today than ever before, educators now adopting feeding programs in our schools, increased thief and violence, the cost of living is totally out of control.

Technology is destroying society and our very own government is driving poverty up higher each and every day.
ThinkAgain 4/12/2014 7:23:36 PM Report

I enjoy the teacher popping in everyday, reminding everyone about there grammar and spelling, Guess just trying to change the subject.
Sunnidelight 4/12/2014 7:31:36 PM Report

There, their, they're...
Legend01 4/12/2014 7:32:04 PM Report

Raising minimum wage is not the be all and end all to people making more money. Small business owners simply cant afford to pay more. Now with that said there are some employers who can pay more who are greedy and want their million dollar homes and 3 cars in their driveways while their employees make them rich so I get the argument to an extent. The problem with the Sault is nobody wants to leave here and go where the work is. The have their degrees and just want to stay here and hope a job is created for them. Our mayor has done nothing for job creation and with all our old folk councillors don't expect anything to change anytime soon. This city could have factories or plants yet city council is more worried about useless issues. They don't care about the young people here so unfortunately the young people who cant sustain work here are going to have to pack up and move away. Maybe if enough people leave this city will finally get it.
IgnorantNortherner 4/12/2014 7:37:15 PM Report

I think it was intentional, sunnie. I laughed believing it was, anyway.

Also, the article wasn't about the minimum wage per se, but the (in)ability of a family to live off of it. Minimum wage was never intended to be a wage capable of supporting kids and a family.

*I meant increase prices (to keep profits the same) above, not profits.
Koolaid 4/12/2014 7:38:34 PM Report

All these issues are mainly here in Sault ste. Marie, where we have a higher then 10% unemployment. There is also a huge wage gap between higher labour and lower labour workers here. Other cities where the employment rate is better, the minimum wage jobs are mainly for students and elderly.
zzeke 4/12/2014 7:53:18 PM Report

The cost of a loaf of bread going up because minimum wage has increased is hilarious. That`s like blaming the water boy for your team losing the game.
IgnorantNortherner 4/12/2014 7:59:35 PM Report

Look up "inflation" zzeke and why it happens.

Horrible analogy, too as they are very much related. Causation even, not correlation.
shju 4/12/2014 8:04:46 PM Report

basic commodities must go up when the employees manning the front lines are making more money. It has to be like this or the business selling the goods wont be in business much longer. Min. wage increases wont bring you out of debt nor will they bring you riches. She seems to be doing fine. She is alive. So the job she was working before the min wage increase seems to be doing its job in providing the min amount of money to live.

Ahh I get it now; min wage = min money you need to survive. Hrm who would have thought that the word minimum means no extra for cars,houses,kids,cell phones, drinking,smoking,etc....

A couple both making min wage can afford a house <100k. They could also afford to have 2 cars. They wont be able to have everything in life but they could have the basics to live a "normal" life.

No one wins in this situation because inflation goes up the amount the min wage increase was upped. Only people hurting yet again are the so called middle class who once again are asked to pay for everything. My once good job is now being reduced to the poor middle class. I would love to see a 25% increase in my wage over the past 8 years.
shju 4/12/2014 8:09:19 PM Report

Oh and speaking to the greed of these business's that employee you. I seen a stupid meme that was so true.

Lets take an actor who makes 50m a year and gives 1m to charity. They are considered to be the greatest people around and are so charitable. Now lets take a business owner who makes 1m a year for himself/herself and pays out 50m a year in wages to hundreds of employees. They are seen as greedy. Awesome logic.

Again Spock is so upset with that logic that his green blood boils.
lodgekeepers 4/12/2014 8:10:08 PM Report

To all of you anonymous responders who are highly critical and outwardly rude and obnoxious of this person's opinion, at least she had the courage to attach her name. Although as a business owner, I have a hard time with paying students $11.00 per hour to wash dishes and do other tasks around my business, I do empathize with this person that it would be hard to make a living at that wage.
It is sad that some folks have to be so blatantly rude toward others, and cannot dialogue in a meaningful manner. To all of you rude, anonymous responders, I suggest you find a way to combat your cowardice and sign your name.
Frank O'Connor
shju 4/12/2014 8:12:20 PM Report

If you want everyone to make the exact same amount of money and everyone to have the exact same things and be totally fair across the board then I suggest you start a communist party. I heard it worked really well in the past for countries.(sarcasm) I cant wait for the middle class to finally stand up for themselves and rebel against the government.
Asuna 4/12/2014 8:15:31 PM Report

Heres my thoughts on min wage since I live on it.
- Work 40 hours a week get a job, that allows you to work full time, (may take time to find one) however with 2 kids you need to be working full time , even at minimum wage.

-enroll in school, distance education, online school work, get something to better yourself in the long run when possible if you havent already

- dont live outside your means, you dont need 2 cars, you dont need cable, internet phone, 2 cells, ect.
have 1 home phone, internet or cable not both
eliminate excessive waste money, stop going to tim hortons twice a week, or stop buying netflix , dont go clothing shopping unless necessary

-budget, budget budget, coupons, ect. sit down with the weekly flyers, only buy whats on sale and make 1 pot healthy meals, chili, pasta sauce and whole wheat pasta, stews, soups,
lentils, beans and other legumes are great sources of nutrition and protein at low prices.

above all minimum wage is a struggle, but if youre only working part time minimum wage and living with your parents, you need to find a full time job, I have 1 college degree and currently enrolled into something else and still cannot find employment in either job field however working full time min wage is much better and helpful than part time.
It sucks to work at mcdonalds full time, but money is money , until the right job in your field comes along.
these are really just helpful tips and opinions and not entirely based on the writer of this article.
pope29 4/12/2014 8:20:25 PM Report

Sault Today trolling all the little dummies...and the dummies come out in droves.

Periods!!! The little dots that look like this ...... They end a sentence...each sentence should contain a complete thought....not 44 ignorant half thoughts.
zzeke 4/12/2014 8:24:07 PM Report

Hey Northerner ......I`ll bet your wage increases have nothing to do with inflation . Why is that everyone else is entitled to raises with no bitchin` but when this type of story comes out then it`s pick on the little guy time? There no min wage increases from `95 to `04. but inflation kept rising. Perhaps it`s time for the little guy to catch up .
shju 4/12/2014 8:28:27 PM Report

I feel for anyone on min wage as me and my wife both lived off it for years. We managed to buy a house, have 2 vehicles. Yes we didn't have the extras in life but we managed to put each other through school. Min wage is more then to have the basics. If you want more then you gotta go out and get more. Not get it handed to you.
shju 4/12/2014 8:29:03 PM Report

anapeg 4/12/2014 8:29:34 PM Report

Regardless where you stand on this point you have to know the cost, ANY cost will be handed down to the consumer. We all, families and businesses alike are working with our individual bottom lines in mind. Small business has their own set of problems to deal with while large corporations have to deal with the investors and those buying shares, each and every one needs profit.
When any family falls on a difficult time, an unusual expenditure they make cuts and work toward an end, business is exactly the same but with larger numbers and more dependants.
Show me how a raise of that amount is going to help when prices of most every business raises prices to cover the raise?
Dead End Kid 4/12/2014 8:31:55 PM Report

Happyman,the people who are insulting on SOOTODAY are smart enough to know that if they talked this way to someone standing a foot away from them they may regret that they did.
steelworker 4/12/2014 8:58:48 PM Report

rideronthestorm 4/12/2014 9:10:20 PM Report

alwaysaloser, are you for real, do you think that everyone in this world has time or money to go to school study for a big career and then all is well, what about those that have degrees and still can't find a job.It's idiots like you that make this world so sad, i bet your like some morons in this world that like to bully homeless people, what a joke , you should help someone that has nothing not laugh at them, even if you have a degree and they don't. that's why this stupid world is in the shape it's in, because of people like you, who only care about themselves and couldn't care less about other people. I bet you would care a whole lot if that was you on a street corner with nothing or your siblings or you own kids with nothing,O now you would change your tune, moron, get real and think about everyone not just yourself for once, but i bet that's all you care about is you, and screw everyone else right.
young guy 4/12/2014 9:29:15 PM Report

Always a winner,

It is a fact that increasing minimum wage has had resulted in an increase in jobs in some states that implimented a wage increase. It's a proven fact actually. It also depends on what kind of company you work for. Not everybody works for a corner store, a cleaning company or a gas station. Nobody even 'has' to work at those places! Even landscapers make enough money to build huge houses and purchase nice vehicles with few employees. They 'need' to use people, or they're screwed! They ARE making enough money! They are making too much money off of other people! Sure some small employers would hurt from it, but would you really want to work for an employer who is at the bottom? They are equivalent to a minimum wage earner. They should go to business school. Learn how to build a business that actually makes money and then there wouldn't be a problem. Not just use people like they are an ignorant slave, like the low class slave driver employers do. SMART people know this. Idiot!

She is not too young too have kids, she is almost 30 with two degrees. Might as well not go to school then. All those financial self-help authors that hate school are right! Only go to school if you're going to be some sort of engineer, chartered accountant, doctor, or a lawyer. It's that simple. And yes, I would 'love' to become an engineer or hold another form of highly professional career.

Btw, do you even 'own' a business?? Do you even have an education and what did you study?

You right that she should have pre-thought kids before having sex. But, even people who pre-meditate their hump days can still get pregnant. It does happen!! And not all of them will murder an infant. She probably should have taken the morning after pill, but sometimes it's too late. You're a woman you should know this. Moron. Now that your children are older, you somehow expect her to turn back time so that she should have murdered little kids that she already has grown to love????

Are you a retard???
FoX 4/12/2014 9:33:15 PM Report

The problem with a higher minimum wage is it causes inflation. If minimum wage goes up say 10%, and the price of say groceries goes up 8%, well the rest of us aren't going to get a 10% increase in wage. which means the rest of us effectively do not make as much as we previously did. know what i mean?

just my 2 cents.. (or would it be 5 cents now?..)
kbaybiie 4/12/2014 9:33:43 PM Report

Well this escalated quite quickly...

I'm not the usual to hide behind a screen, but if confronted, trust me, I'm not any sort of coward :).
IgnorantNortherner 4/12/2014 9:34:10 PM Report

zzeke, again, I invite you to learn something but if you'd like to stay ignorant, by all means! Wages increases can never keep up with inflation as they contribute to it.

Perhaps the 'little guys' should figure out that a debt based economy and fractional reserve banking are the problem, NOT MINIMUM WAGE.

I feel for this woman and her family - I really do - but if you had time and money to go to school you could have done so in mechanical or chemical engineering or trade school or SOME IN DEMAND CAREER if your goal is to have a family and make enough money to support them as best you can. Too many people just want to get a degree thinking that will make them an attractive employee but not so. LEARN A SKILL, or several.

@young guy--If you're going to say something as insane as increasing a company's costs results in them adding jobs and stating 'it's a fact' THE LEAST YOU COULD DO IS REFERENCE IT.

You guys sure are able to tell an awful lot about people based on a few anonymous comments they make. Should've been psychics...
Lone24 4/12/2014 9:38:25 PM Report

That was very well put rideronthestorm. I agree with you 100%. That's exactly the way it is in this world today and why it is like it is. Their time will come and when it does I hope they get what they dished out to the more unfortunate.
mallet 4/12/2014 9:41:54 PM Report

The Lady does not say what their degrees are in, so nobody knows what demand there is for their expertise locally or nationally. If I wanted to make a living wage then I would seriously think about one of them moving to where there was a living wage to be made and havine established myself I would then send for the others. I would have loved to finish my working life at ASC, however I did not have the senority to hold a job past the 12 years mark, so I went elsewhere The Artic the Bush North Africa Sudbury wherever there was work, unfortunately this couple does not wish to do that, so why do they complain, if others can do it and my grandsons have there is no reason other people cannot too.
young guy 4/12/2014 9:52:53 PM Report


What did you even take in school, 'welding'??? Obviously you're going to make a decent wage working for the plant. But, you did not get it by being a smart educated person. You only got that by taking welding. C'mon dude. Basically anybody can do that!!

Not EVERY person will go into a trade!! And I am in a trade, making decent money, but I can empathize with other people because I have struggled at certain points in my life. Yes I have made other people very rich that did NOT deserve it, off of my hard work and my ideas. Without people like me, those people are 'worthless'!! If every person that held one of those low class jobs entreprenuelized themselves, their wage would just even out. It would then be 'fair'. It would basically be based upon, who has the best ideas, who does a better job than the other person. That is not the way it is though. It can't be that way.

hat's just common sense.

kbaybiie 4/12/2014 9:52:55 PM Report

AND to be completely honest yes min wage sucks (I grew up in a low income family), and I've been living off min wage on my own for the past 6 years (the past 3 with a child) however I'm also going to school for a higher paying (high demand) CAREER (not job). But I feel for this Woman. Living today is not as easy as people think with little room for comfort financially. And people are right some people have no drive and I can understand that because right this moment I am going to college, working part-time, being a mother as well as a wife and I have no drive for anything else.
young guy 4/12/2014 10:13:03 PM Report


That is the quickest reference I could google. Not the reference I was even thinking of.

I don't have the time to find any more references to you. This is not fun for me...
shju 4/12/2014 10:19:04 PM Report

I agree it sucks making min wage and it sucks going to school to get 2 degrees in a field that sault ste marie doesn't offer jobs for. If you want fancy degree's then be prepared to move or don't take certain degrees. Look at areas you want to live in and pick a career that will interest you. What I see from this story is about $50k worth of useless debt that could have bought a house.
arch44 4/12/2014 10:20:12 PM Report

Bottom line...explained, so many sootoday readers may understand...when minimum wage increases, so will the cost of your timmies coffee.
LilPup 4/12/2014 10:22:09 PM Report

The subject and her husband would possibly be able to make it work on two minimum wage incomes if not for their student loans. Student loans have crippled many young adults financially by taking a sizeable amount of their income to pay back or destroying their credit if they are unable to keep up the payments. If post-secondary education guaranteed people careers 100%, it would be one thing, but we don't live in that reality.
young guy 4/12/2014 10:39:18 PM Report

Lil pup,

That's true, You have to plan 'what you want to take and what you want to make'...

But, education does 'not' guarantee anything. Nothing is a guarantee.

I support people for going for what their passions are, as long as it's not 'art history' or any other useless degree. I know a few people who have psychology degrees that are making next to nothing. They aren't psychologists yet, i guess. And sometimes things happen and people can't 'finish' their education. There is multiple senario's that could happen in a life. If you have rich parents, things will flow a lot more smoothly. That is for sure. Everybody knows that. Every mistake is taken care of financially no problem. SMART people know that also. And yes, I have spoken to a Lawyers wife of whom's son had failed in certain things and he just needs to find his niche in life. It happens to everybody. 'NOT JUST YOU'!!!!

Grow up before you make comments, I guess. That includes you, 'alwaysawinner'.

Gimli 4/12/2014 10:46:18 PM Report

Hi there, this is Jennifer, subject of Darren's story up there. First of all, many thanks to everyone who has offered compassion and kindness to me and my family after reading our story. It's deeply appreciated.

A few clarifications; I haven't been living in my inlaw's basement since graduation in 2011. We (me and the family) actually left the Soo for two years and went West to Vancouver Island were we actually found good paying jobs. We had a life and place we could be proud of. Sadly, I lost my job and wasn't able to find another fast enough, so we had to give up everything, and I mean everything, to come back to the Sault. Mostly everything I own is still in storage in BC.

The last seven months have been the hardest of my life and again, I appreciate everyone who's left a kind comment. I currently work two part time jobs, no benefits, but as I said in the article, one of them has said 'because the minimum wage is going up, we have to cut your hours back.' The other can only guarantee me a certain number, and I can tell you its' not enough. We don't live outside our means as we basically have no means. No money means no mobility to just pack up and move anywhere to find better jobs. No money means not going back to school to retrain (again) to find better jobs, because no program on Earth is going to loan me any more money.

The only solution to my problem, and to many others who are in situations similar to mine, is a higher paying job. Seeing as how most of the jobs out there today are part time, minimum wage jobs, the only thing we can do is hope the minimum wage goes up to a point where we can support ourselves independently. This means the minimum wage should actually increase to $14 or even $15 dollars an hour. And for those who argue that it will increase costs of everything, look to certain States and other places where their minimum has been raised and you'll see that it's effect on inflation is actually very very small.

This is the only comment I'll be leaving as the thread has already gotten quite long. Have a nice rest of your weekend.
Koolaid 4/12/2014 10:52:04 PM Report

Why..Why.. do we even care ffs. just give it up
willoweep 4/12/2014 11:47:50 PM Report

I can certainly empathize with Mrs Rowe, and so many ,who struggle for what ever reason to make a life for themselves and their Families.I actually applaud them .

I am not quite so compassionate for People who have lived off the system all of their lives ,in some Families for generations.

My Husband and I worked all our lives to get what we wanted.Our House is paid for ,so is our Cottage .

We actually lived under our means for many years to do that ,plus we put some aside every Year for our "Golden Years".

Only now we live on fixed incomes. Inflation is eaten up our nest egg.

So if minimum Wage goes up near 40% ,it is pretty safe to assume that cost of living will certainly go up as well ,which should pretty much wipe out everything we worked and believed in for near 50 years.

I don't claim to have any of the answers
I see both sides,unfortunately ,we will be among the many placed in situations we didn't foresee.

By the way I don't give a billy be damned about my lack of writing skills or anyone's opinion of them.

I commend Mrs Rowe and People like her , who like us bought into the Dream,that if you worked hard, and did you best it was enough.

Dead End Kid 4/12/2014 11:59:28 PM Report

Wow,is the moderator on vacation? C'mon man, your going to help ruin this site if you keep it up.
Dead End Kid 4/13/2014 12:01:56 AM Report

If you don't give a billy be damned than what would you give?
foxylady069 4/13/2014 12:11:41 AM Report

Hmmm....I remember my first week at college. It was stated that when you graduate you will most likely find an entry level-position closer to minimum wage for your field and you will have to build your way up from there.

As for the comments on here of not having children until you are financially stable

Let's look at a simple "SMART PERSON" scenario
18 years old=high school-graduation
22-23 years old=college/university diploma
24-26 establishing an entry level position in your field. In order to have WORK EXPERIENCE that means something on your resume.
27 making sure you got that good paying job
28 saving money-buying a house
29-getting a little risky to have kids-early to mlate 20's it the optimal child bearing age(after 30 it starts to get risky)

Now of course all of this is based off of going to college directly after high school. Heaven forbid the kid worked a couple years at minimum wage to try to help pay tuition.

Some people want to have a family during this age bracket(the article stated late 20's). I had my children in my 20's. Worked slightly above minimum wage for 6 years and once they went to school I went to college and graduated. I am now focusing on my career and my husband makes a good wage where he is at and that allows me to do this. I have no regrets and am glad I did things this way. We've had unforeseen bumps in the road but pulled through.

Point of this is no one knows how someone else's situation happened. So don't judge.
Derd78 4/13/2014 12:17:40 AM Report

I did not have time to read all 77 posts before mine, but I will say this again, If you don't like the way things are, you need to get out there and vote. Do yourself a favour and take some time to learn about who is running and what they stand for. The biggest problem with our country is that we sit back and let everyone make our decisions for us. When we as a People should be influencing those decisions. You can sit in front of a computer and voice all your opinions, but when i comes time to vote for the ones that represent us as a community, will you get off your ass and make and educated vote. I hope so, cause it seems like there is a lot of people on here that like to, Let their voice be heard, I hope those same people will take that drive they have behind their computers and apply it to real life. Remember this is OUR COUNTRY and OUR RIGHTS. that we and generations before us have fought for. Ask yourself if it were 1943 would you be dodging the draft or would you be getting in line to fight.
that is all...
Verbatim 4/13/2014 1:10:28 AM Report

ppl call me a conspiracy nut ..when being polite..:)...but eh bottom line is this. Corporations own and control the world ..and the world of politics. The elimination of the middle class has been an on going commitment by this group of people. It has nothing to do with education ,skill or family. Its about creating a society of the rich and dominating and the poor and subservient and guess what, they are winning. Ultimately I believe their goal is to rid the planet of money and use a system of credit. doing so would make them absolute masters over everyone. This may not happen in our time, but our children and our grandchildren will pay the price for our stupidity
Alystr 4/13/2014 1:44:26 AM Report

The people who are insulting min wage people, probably got handed a job from somebody. Getting a job because you know the right people, does not make you any better than a min wage person. It makes you lucky. Start from the bottom like most people do, then come back and insult people.
Longlake 4/13/2014 1:56:01 AM Report

Lots of posts here cutting down anyone who works at a minimum wage job. But I don't see any posts about the ridiculous salaries paid to CEO's of hospitals, Sault College, Algoma University, PUC, the list goes on and on.
We are creating a two class society in Canada. I am sick and tired of business whining about how an increase in minimum wage forces them to lay off staff, all the while supporting wage increases far beyond inflation for management, both public and private sector.
No wonder Ontario is becoming a have-not province.
browl 4/13/2014 2:05:19 AM Report

I can not believe the comments some people on here have made. This woman clearly stated she had TWO degrees from Algoma U and her husband as well studied business. It is people like you who have made it hard for people out there to make it in this city. Have you never heard of the Keynesian theory that more employment and wage earners means more money being spent in the economy therefore increasing the need for employment, in turn then again increase spending. Know your facts before you open your uneducated mouths. People should never be told they made choices in their lives that are unacceptable to you because they are different then the choices you made. Our colleges and University have created these amazing programs that do us little good in our city because to get a job here you have to know someone. Shame on all you haters who think that they are better then someone else. shame shame!!
young guy 4/13/2014 2:13:25 AM Report


You and your husband has been working your asses off((breaking your backs) for your house and cottage), but inlfation has eaten up your nest egg??? Seriously???

Your comment that you created was clearly just entirely about you and your agenda, but not even thinking about anyone else's situation in life.

I mean. If two people are making 150grand in combination, it is extremely easy to put money away and eventually become a millionaire!!! I am absolutely serious here. If you can't see that, than you are telling me that you are an extremely stupid, worthless human being. I mean that is what you are telling me verbatim aren't you???
browl 4/13/2014 2:15:53 AM Report
I'm In 4/13/2014 2:18:24 AM Report

Business never closed because of increases to minimum wage increases their profits increase if anything or they would be closed so to all business pay your help. The banks are just as bad billions of dollars in profits no increases to their staff. To all of brainwashed out there get a life business should share the wealth with the people that help them make it, slavery went out years ago.
Moon78TA 4/13/2014 2:20:09 AM Report

Raising min. wage doesn't help anybody at all. If we go back a few years the govt decided to bump from 7.25 to 10.25 over 2yrs that we have now. When the min wage was 7.25 the Soo was flooded with Call Centers averaging 10-12/hr or more.

Raising the min wage hurts more people than helps people making min wage. As most of our everyday prices are based on min. wage. So 5yrs ago if you made 15/hr you lived pretty good now with it going to 11/hr that same 15/hr job is suffering to keep up like they use too. All their basic needs increased with min. wage, but they continue to make 15/hr. For them to live the same as before they now need to make 20+/hr.

So again a higher min. wage doesn't help anybody because no matter how high it goes, you will always still scrape buy as your basic needs rise up just as much.
young guy 4/13/2014 2:22:38 AM Report


Btw, it is not even close to a 40% increase in wage... It is approximately 7%. A far, far cry from 40%!!!! Learn some math before you comment please.

*shakes head*.. You are a moron who obviously doesn't know anything about poverty.

I am not in poverty anymore, but I remember where I came from(and yes, I have an education). And I did it all by myself, which is a lot harder than having a spouse and two kids combined. So, I feel her pain...

You sound like a douche...
browl 4/13/2014 2:30:09 AM Report

i dont think that anyone now of days who got a job 20+ years ago making a decent enough wage who may or may not have went to college for less then half the tuition we are paying now understands the depth of what the labour market is like now. You have to be a college graduate to work at a rental car place let alone to get a job making anything more then minimum wage and you also have to pay back any money you may have had to borrow to pay that tuition at anywhere from 10-20 % interest fees. So we get an entry wage job say we are making 14-16$ an hour paying 800 of that to pay back our student debts, how much does that leave us to save? to rent a house or an apartment?
young guy 4/13/2014 2:41:48 AM Report


Seriously??? Are you stupid too??

The people who were making $15/hr, 5 years ago, you are saying that they still are making $15/hr... Really??? *shakes head*.

I think that the majority of the 'educated' commentors on here have no clue what they're talking about. They really don't.

Especially the commentors who believe that they earned everything they have(their house, cottage, boats, trailors, etc) and then complain about the minimum wage earners getting more. That is extremely pathetic.

The majority of trades workers don't even deserve half of what they earn.. I am saying that discreetly here as I am in a trade!!!!!!!! We make a lot of money!! LOL. I even have more education that most people I work with!!!

So please... Stop talking if you don't know anything..
Honestysucks 4/13/2014 3:16:45 AM Report

Don't like getting Minimum wage? Get an education and a better job and do something with your life!
David Poluck 4/13/2014 7:05:17 AM Report

Good discussions.
I am a small business owner who for the most part for the last 28 years is a one man operation. I wear many hats...chief cook, bottle washer, book keeper banker loans officer,general labour jack of all trades master of non...and I wouldn't have it any other way.(Barring a win on the Lotto Max)
When I started the Sault was in similar circumstances to what we are seeing today back in the 80's ASC and other industry were struggling to stay afloat.
I found myself laid off more than I was working, money was tight.
The drive to start a business came from the realization that the only thing I could depend on was myself.

Either I worked hard for someone else or I could work hard for myself.

If I couldn't find work I'd make it.

Then as now starting and running a business there are no safety nets or quick fixes. It is a tough and satisfying way to make a living...I'll never get rich but I keep a roof over my head and pay my expenses.

I encourage others to take on the challenge of entrepreneurship...break the cycle of stuck in the rut as I was and get into can do!

Don't be afraid of asking other business owners for advice..we've all been where you are and will be glad to help.

SW33T_LOU 4/13/2014 7:45:55 AM Report

People don't realize that when minimum wage increases, so does the cost of living. It almost ends up equaling out. Furthermore, I have put 11 HARD EARNED years into my trade. Every time minimum wage goes up, my wage DOESN'T. Every time minimum wage goes up, one of my very well deserved raises goes straight out the window. Furthermore, my families living also becomes harder because the cost of living goes up, leaving us with tighter budgets. Increasing minimum wage doesnt just help millions. it HURTS TENS OF MILLIONS in the process. I understand people need to live, people also need to strive for better. Most people gripe about only making minimum wage, yet don't even take the time to look for something better. Before my wife went back to work, you could pretty well say that my wage alone would equate what this lady and her husband bring home, we survived. It takes more effort. Some people don't see this, or are blinded by ignorance that it should just be given to them. Goood Pay for hard work is EARNED not GIVEN.
Frio 4/13/2014 8:02:56 AM Report

Maybe some of the most critical, rude posters should take moment and consider what would they do if the job or comfortable position they have now have was to be terminated.. Only then they might have a reality check and find out that there is a very limited job market no matter your skills, experience, post secondary education or ambition and willingness to work.I applaud this woman for having the courage to write her article on the realities of her young, educated family and the opportunties to live the good life in todays world where an increase in minimum wage and those who work it are blamed for everybodies financial problems. The world is changing every day, and not necessarily for the better. A good education does not mean a good paying job, or even that a decent job is available to work at.
sooguy8 4/13/2014 8:16:26 AM Report

WOW! It amazes me that people get so upset over the idea of a 75 cent wage increase being given to the lowest paid people in our province. I clearly see that most commentors on here have absolutely no compassion and seemingly little understanding of anything other than their own needs. The human race never fails to disappoint me.
HONEST1 4/13/2014 8:18:25 AM Report

Okay here it is! Raise the minumum wage to $15/per hour lower HST to 10% give all Canadians a one time opportunity to get post secondary educaion (We would have alot more doctors), do away with Indian reserves and have the Canadian government stop supporting them, have all natives with status cards pay a 5% tax, seems like everyone is on the Ontario Disability Pension band wagon. Tighten that up. START WITH THAT.
sooguy8 4/13/2014 8:35:55 AM Report

To Honestysucks and so do you.
SW33T_LOU 4/13/2014 9:08:24 AM Report

@ Frio,
I've lost my job on a moments notice. I didn't sit at home and wait for pogey to come in. I got off my ass the very next day and handed out resumes. Would you believe I got 3 calls within the first day. Im lucky in the fact that my hard work over the years, has spread through word of mouth. I need not make a resume any longer. If Im out of work, they now call me. Why? Because I Worked my ass off, and it spread through word of mouth. All the while I qualify for disability because of back and knee problems. I don't take the disability because I enjoy going to work everyday, and I know there is people out there who need it far worse than I do but have to fight through the crooked people to get it. I am responsible for where I am today. I don't own my own house, I rent, I don't drive a new vehicle, I drive a 14 year old junker. I don't have a yard full of toys, BUT what I do have is a roof over my head and food in the cupboards with the bills paid. All because I worked very hard to get it.

On a side note, another problem I see, is people go to College/ University in Sault Ste Marie and don`t pay any attention to what the job market is. They go in, get a degree that 10 000 people in Sault Ste Marie already have, and there are no jobs in that sector, but complain that they have a university degree and no job. If you want to train in a specific field, you NEED to expect to relocate to where THAT particular job market is. A prime example: 3 of my friends just finished a Heavy Diesel Certification Course that took a few years, Sault Ste Marie is already overflowing with them. Now they cant find a job in the Soo, and have a whole pile of debt to pay. You cant assume that because you have a degree, there is automatically going to be a job for you.
dude4975 4/13/2014 9:26:08 AM Report

Did the price of condoms go up that much, theres other means of sex you know , think about it ,now blaming kids for your hard times ,I know jobs aare hard to come by at least good paying jobs but some make a living on baby bonouses, geesh wheres it goanna end, and hell ya wage increases means price hiking and more taxes paid back to the people that gave you the raise the politicians lol
Brietsy 4/13/2014 9:27:49 AM Report

My background, just to give a bit of where I'm coming from.

I am an owner of a small business. one employee. to keep it afloat, I've had to get a second job on the side. a full time second job.

It would be easy to go flip burgers for a living, but I wanted something a bit better for myself, so I went and worked at a call center. it was "just that one step above" minimum wage. if the wage increases, it will be minimum wage.

I would like to see someone who works (even minimum wage) make more then someone on welfare, but the rest of the us need a little help too.

I got rambly. sorry
IgnorantNortherner 4/13/2014 9:59:26 AM Report

dude, she's not blaming kids...did you read the whole article, dick?

I'd be all for raising the MW to $20/hr or more to end this debate once and for all. I think it is entirely possible that the pros outweigh the cons.

There are a lot of people now that earn a tad over MW but do significantly more work than their MW peers to get it. If MW goes up than they won't be willing to do the extra work without a wage increase of some sort as well. It forces increases all over the place.

@young guy that Reich article was a total joke and one man's hypothesis of what would happen if you raised MW. Hardly fact. He makes a lot of crazy assumptions, one of them being businesses would never increase prices to make up for the lost profit due to higher labour costs.
IgnorantNortherner 4/13/2014 10:13:22 AM Report

@Verbatim. I think it's more those who ultimately have control over those corporations than it is the corporations themselves. Hint: It's the same ppl who control the international banking cartel

@HONEST wow some interesting ideas!
Are the people who've spent 50 or 100k on their education compensated in any way for something that will now be free for everyone else? I wouldn't have chosen to go into that field and spend that kind of money if I knew anyone would have the choice of doing the same thing for free.

Wisenheimer 4/13/2014 10:50:44 AM Report

My grandfather, a depression era farmer, had a favorite saying .. "root, hog, or die". Back then "other people" had no money either.
Christina216 4/13/2014 10:52:14 AM Report

"do away with indian reserves."
why? what a stupid comment. why not "do away" with social assistance or o.d.s.p...
And natives still pay taxes you idiot.
what about bob 4/13/2014 10:54:34 AM Report

To: Jennifer Rowe, I would definitely recommend that you re-locate to Ottawa, as you are thinking about doing. It is unfortunate that you will be leaving family in the Soo, but now that you have children, they, the children are your number one priority and you must do everything you can for them. If that means re-locating to find a career in your field, then that is what you have to do. Once you're a parent, you have to make the necessary sacrifices for your children.
eadiecougs 4/13/2014 11:05:49 AM Report

keep Minimum wage the same problem is every dam thing has gone up or you pay services charges on everything.I think lower the prices and it evens out but this does not happen.My dad made 8 dollars an hour when I was young had five kids it was hard my mom worked a t a resturaunt till 3 in the morn.we had no cell phone no major toys or computers but were never hungry.Life was simple back then now u need to have the best of everything no wonder we have a high debt
cassie 4/13/2014 11:08:13 AM Report

@Always A winner

Ahahahah you are a winner your probably on welfare or social assistance and have children that you spend the baby bonus on yourselves just like the frigin 30% of the soo. how dare you tell a person with a degree not to have children. Anyone planning children should write you to get approval first right HERO !!!!!!!!!!!!!! LMAO bet your wife loves you :)
mssenumb 4/13/2014 11:09:11 AM Report

Dave Poluck! The most positive comment thus far. There is work to be found in this city, you just have to go out and talk to people. There are so many nice people in this town, most who have worked very hard to get where they are and who would love to share their experiences and ideas to help someone. As for the Rowe family, they are not alone in this life's roller coaster, and appear to be making sacrifices to make a living for their family by residing with their parents. Perhaps if more young parents made this sacrifice, they too would not be struggling to make ends meet. Family is everything, so kudo's to the Rowe family! Keep doing what you're doing, and don't be afraid to ask others for help, your train will come in.
SpongeBob 4/13/2014 11:45:11 AM Report

So the gist of the mentality in SSM -

Get a job in trades or get out, don't bother with higher education - cause who needs that fancy book learning right? There are way too many here taking advantage of the high unemployment rates (and the vacancy rates as well).

Not all jobs paying min wage are flipping burgers or bartending. There is a clear problem with a community who's solution to being paid lousy wages or being underpaid for the work being is to just uproot your family and leave. If everyone does that , the city becomes a ghost town and guess what? You and your family will end up having to do that eventually.
tosimple 4/13/2014 11:48:34 AM Report

There is nothing wrong with a needy person getting social assistance. But in saying that they should be subject to drug testing any time. Same as those who live on the res and get welfare. Sure give them a cheque. But if they fail a piss test cut them off!!!!!!
Gumby54 4/13/2014 12:05:19 PM Report

Been in this situation so I have empathy; however a few of the comments in the story lead to further questions.
1. What degrees do they have - this points people to areas where they would be required.
2. Your family had 2 good paying jobs and one was lost. Was the other then just abandoned and you moved back home? The one job lost would have qualified for EI which would pay close to minimum wage while you searched for other opportunities. Even 1 good paying job and 1 at minimum wage could have been better than what you currently have.
As others have stated, raising the minimum wage (entry position) only increases the number of low income wage earners. Those currently earning slightly more than minimum wage see no increase in wages and the inevitable rise in all prices will increase their ability to live as well.
dude4975 4/13/2014 12:32:26 PM Report

To ignoraqnt northerner stop baffling us with ur bull , she has kids and a school debt , do the kids heelp her situation out AT THIS TIME , continue to be ignorantnorthener @hole, thinkabout it
R0FL0L 4/13/2014 12:39:51 PM Report

Sad to see these comments.
What a bunch of ignorant trolls on here.
Always the same with so much negativity.

One reason the Sault is shrinking and young people leaving. There are only very few good jobs and you have to know someone to get somewhere in this little town.
The children were not mentioned as a BURDEN but as a fact = 2 parent family with 2 children with 3 degrees living on 3 minimum wage jobs with their parents.

How brave of her to give her name to this article.
Comments should be closed.
It is the same when the death of the Finance Minister was announced.
Yes, there should be a discussion about his job and the effects of his decisions, as well as Harper's new laws and his stand to scientist and open speech etc. and yes a discussion about poverty, minimum wage, education in trades or other, in town/ at home or not etc. need to take place but everything at the right time and the right place and definitely not with a name attached, so that these trolls can insult people.
But maybe -just maybe- there is something in your water (brown) or your toothpast or maybe you can blame the PUC for your mind set.
Skuggs 4/13/2014 1:33:41 PM Report

Bottom line is if your not happy making min. wage then go back to school and do something that pays better. If you did this and there are no jobs avail. then get off your lazy ass be like the rest of us and leave the crap town of SSM and find a job. they are out there. Of course employers aren't giving a crap about Min. wage workers, they have their own families to worry about. Be your own boss and do what u want. bitchin don't solve nada.
YourFutureNurse 4/13/2014 1:34:13 PM Report

In response to all this- I don't think minimum wage should be going up. Like many people have mentioned before- every time minimum wage goes up the middle class suffer and are brought closer to the poverty line. Right now PSWs make about $18 an hour, which is good for what they do, but if minimum wage goes up eventually to $15 an hour they are almost better off to go work at Timmys and save their back from the backbreaking work they do. Canadas healthcare system is already suffering with many nurses and PSWs approaching retirement. The reason a lot of PSWs do what they do is that its good money, despite being a very physical job.

For the author of this article and others living on minimum wage- do something about it!!! Many people living on minimum wage (like the author) have university degrees and so forth, but what are those degrees in? Sure, a history or psychology degree sound great and look great on a resume- but what types of jobs is that really going to get you? All young adults these days are doing those majors and there isn't many jobs in those fields to begin with.

So before you start complaining about minimum wage, why don't you do something about it? Go to school for something that actually has job security and that its fairly easy to get a job in. Take 8 months out of your minimum wage job and go to school to be a PSW so you can find a job instantly for at least $18 an hour (which is the lowest paying nursing home in SSM wage), or if you have 2 years take the RPN program and be a nurse to start out at $21 an hour. Even more, if you have 4 years take the RN program and start out at $30 an hour!

And if health care isn't something you would like- then go to school for something else that is decent wage thats fairly easy to get a job in- electrician, mechanic, plumber, etc. These people taking degrees like history and psych are wasting money because most of them can't find work in their field yet they continue to major in these fluffy-fields!!!

If you get a decent job then you will realize what everyone is saying- minimum wage increases affect the middle class more than any other class!!
Skuggs 4/13/2014 1:35:43 PM Report

Bottom line is if your not happy making min. wage then go back to school and do something that pays better. If you did this and there are no jobs avail. then get off your lazy ass be like the rest of us and leave the crap town of SSM and find a job. they are out there. Of course employers aren't giving a crap about Min. wage workers, they have their own families to worry about. Be your own boss and do what u want. bitchin don't solve nada.
willoweep 4/13/2014 1:39:20 PM Report

Young Guy I am really sorry that life has left you so bitter at a young age.

I am also sorry for your Parents they much be so embarrassed .

You strut around like a Peacock ,making a lot of noise and fluffing your Feathers to get noticed.

This thread is about Minimum wage and the effects raising it to $15 an hr might have on Peoples lives & the Community in general..

And that's what I was talking about .

By the way did you know that local pricing for Grocery partially determined by the the wages paid at the largest employers ?

So Steel Plant wages go up, expect a cent or two extra for bread etc.

Your flair for drama and name calling says nothing about me but a lot about you .

So going from $10 an hr to $15 an hour is 7% ? must be that new Math.

In any event I know Manners are not taught in School,neither is Class ,too bad you didn't learn about such things at home.

I am quite proud of the fact that we planned for our retirement ,owe no money and put some aside to supplement our income .

Heating, power ,food, Gas all have risen sharply .

Raising the minimum wage will indeed help those struggling to make ends meet.

It would also put up Prices for all of us on fixed incomes .

Maybe this is all too complicated for you ?

No matter your still wet behind the ears ,you will hopefully live long enough to experience and learn from life.

Have a good day eh :)
Gumby54 4/13/2014 2:27:05 PM Report

As an aside. From what I read there are definitely 2 degrees from Algoma and studies in Business - no mention of a degree. Sorry for off topic, but....
Also a job slightly above minimum wage plus commission may well be a VERY good job depending on how hard you are willing to work to make commission.
grease monkey 4/13/2014 6:40:06 PM Report

I lived in poverty and then I joined a union ........ just something to think about not trying to be a jerk or anything
harry dick 4/13/2014 7:45:18 PM Report

There are too many responses to this topic to read all of them , but my take on the raising of the minimum wage will go hand in hand with job losses . People that run a business will work more at their business themselves to save money as the minimum wage gets higher ,so that the business will make a modest profit. I am sorry that adults have to work for the minimum wage as good paying jobs in this city are on the decline . The city officials are pushing for more tourism in the city all the time . The only people that make money from tourism are a few business owners and the government. The workers in these business' are making only the minimum wage .
I believe that the city should be looking for heavy industry business' to come to the city . These are the jobs that pay good wages and benefits.
Our good paying jobs are dwindling fast in this city and there are not any business to replace these lost jobs.
We should advertise free taxes for a number of years or at least tax relief to any company with over 50 good paying jobs that would re-locate to this city.
Essar Steel is reducing jobs all the time and St. Mary's paper is gone .We are back to our children and grand children once again leaving this city to go down south for a good paying job with benefits , maybe even leaving the province because of heavily inflated electricity costs , the H.S.T. instead of the provincial tax and the federal G.S.T. This extra tax cost on everything we buy is a big burden on people , especially low income workers.
speed7 4/14/2014 11:49:23 AM Report

have some of you looked at the disclosure of wages for nurses at sault area hospital? And you complain about minimum wage? wow!
chickenlittle 4/14/2014 5:47:57 PM Report

Have any of you been in a position where you lost your employment or are just out of university and had to start looking for work in SSM!!!! By the sounds of the responses on here I think not!! I am retired from an office where we attempted to find employment for many. Trust me, it is very difficult and discouraging for the employment seeker. Don't blame this lady for having children. Those responses were totally uncalled for. all in all, I find it disheartening to read comments on sault to day. They surely do not reflect the majority of the very giving people I know in SSM.
young guy 4/15/2014 1:08:22 AM Report



I am currently making 22/hr.. Not that i'm proud of it. That is just what i'm making now. And you find something wrong with that? You would like to shoot me down by calling me a loser because you make 10grand more than I do(which you probably don't if you have time for this...

Seriously??? Are you still a child? I don't make income comparisons like that anymore.. I stopped that after high school.. That is when it usually stops..

How old are you anyway??
young guy 4/15/2014 1:13:04 AM Report


have you been drinking?
no luck 4/15/2014 9:10:23 AM Report

I am a single mom went to school became an RPN work full time at $23 dollars an hour just staying out of the red. If minimum wage goes up everything else goes up except my wages.
People say they will spend more if they earn more, helping the economy if the prices go up it affects everyone especially the ones who will not see a raise. It will put me into the RED.
Bottom line maybe the government should be looking at cuts not increases.
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