In response to Ontario's massive $2.40 per hour minimum wage hike on January 1, two Tim Hortons locations in Cobourg, Ontario informed their employees that they would no longer be entitled to paid breaks and a number of other perks.
This prompted Premier Kathleen Wynne to react:
“Asking minimum wage workers to sign a pledge acknowledging that their breaks will now go unpaid or agree to receive only 8 hours of pay for a nine-hour day is not decent and it's not fair. It's the act of a bully”
What angers progressives like Wynne is that the owners of these two locations in Cobourg are Ron Joyce Jr. and his wife Jeri Horton-Joyce, the children of Tim Hortons co-founders Ron Joyce and Tim Horton, and they're married to each other.
It's a Canadian love story, but who their parents are won't change the realities of an enormous new business expense dumped on them — and dozens of other Tims owners who are making the same tough cuts.
Wynne also told reporters that if the heirs to Tim Hortons opposed her government's decision to raise the minimum wage, they should have taken it up with her.
But small business owners HAVE been taking it up with her, warning for months that an arbitrary minimum wage hike would cause strain on their businesses resulting in reduced hours and perks.
Wynne’s keen business sense drove Ontario to be the most indebted sub sovereign government on the planet. She's no coffee industry analyst, that’s for sure.
Besides, even if they wanted to take it up with Wynne, according to Great White North Franchisee Association – the trade body representing over one thousand Tim Hortons owners -- they're being told not to talk about the challenges the minimum wage is putting on their businesses, and they're being threatened with retribution from their own head office if they do.
What a great irony.