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Media Advisory: Holiday Spirit Inspires Action on $14 Minimum Wage

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 12/14/13 -- At a time of year when many of us are wishing peace and joy to all, communities are calling on Premier Kathleen Wynne to make 2014 merry and bright by raising the minimum wage to $14 for all workers. On December 14, community members across Ontario will be collecting holiday cards addressed to the Premier.

"This is a time of year when we think about others, wishing them peace, joy and prosperity for the future," said Motilall Sarjoo, president of the Brampton, Mississauga and District Labour Council. "But we also want to see prosperity for our local communities - a $14 minimum wage will help our communities thrive and prosper."

The minimum wage has been frozen for over three years, pushing Ontario workers nearly 20% below the poverty line. The government-appointed Minimum Wage Advisory Panel is expected to make its recommendations in early 2014.

"Raising low-income workers above the poverty-line doesn't have to be just a holiday wish," says Tara Kainer of the social justice office of the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul in Kingston. "It would only take leadership from Premier Kathleen Wynne and our Members of Provincial Parliament to increase the minimum wage to $14 an hour."

"Increasing the minimum wage will strengthen our economy and create jobs, by pumping over $5 billion annually into Ontario's economy" says Terri Carter, of Poverty-Free Thunder Bay. "Fair wages in 2014 will mean a brighter future for all of us."

For more information on the campaign, visit: www.raisetheminimumwage.ca.

Follow the campaign Twitter account @fairwagesnow and hashtag #14now.

Provincial actions and contacts:

Barrie         Saturday, Dec. 14, 11:00am
               Rally at Walmart North Barrie (Meet at the Livingston Street
               David Bradbury: (705) 881-5984

Brampton       Saturday, Dec. 14
               Outreach blitz
               Motilall Sarjoo (Sarj): (416) 709-6352

Burlington     Saturday, Dec. 14, 11:00am - 1:00pm
               Leafleting at Downtown Bus Terminal (John and Lakeshore Rd
               Cathy Stokes: cmordue.55@gmail.com

Cobourg        Thursday, Dec. 12, 2:00 - 3:00pm
               Leaflet action
               Fleming Building, Dollar Store, Rogers parking lot.
               Teresa Williams: williamst@lao.on.ca

Guelph         Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, 6:00 - 8:00pm
               The Soup, Socks, Skating and Song Event
               Market Square, City Hall
               Janice Folk-Dawson: jfd@members.cupe.ca

Hamilton       Saturday, Dec. 14, 11:00am - 1:00pm
               Speakers, music and outreach
               Jackson Square
               Mary Long: (905) 547-2944 x1

Kitchener      Saturday, Dec. 14, 2:00 - 4:00pm
               Outreach blitz, with elves and Santa Claus handing out candy
               Fairview Mall, meet at Bay entrance, near bus depot entrance
               Marc Xuereb: 519-588-0188

Kingston       Friday, Dec. 13, 11:00am - 12:30pm
               Leaflet action outside MPP John Gerretsen's office
               303 Bagot Street, Suite #2 - LaSalle Mews Plaza
               Tara Kainer: (613) 544-4525 ext. 113,

London         Saturday, Dec. 14, 3:00pm
               Candy canes and card signing
               Dundas and Richmond Streets
               Patti Dalton: (519) 494-3901, pattidalton@gmail.com

Peterborough   Saturday, Dec. 14, 1:00-3:00pm
               Serving hot chocolate, candy canes, caroling and card
               Peterborough Square (George & Simcoe)
               Paul Brown: (705) 559-1397, pbrown@uwpeterborough.ca

Sudbury        Saturday, Dec. 14, 12:00pm
               Outreach blitz at New Sudbury Shopping mall
               Meet at the bus stop on Barrydowne near the Shopper's Drug
               Mart entrance
               Christy Knockleby: (249) 878-7227

Toronto        Saturday, Dec. 14, 11:15am - 1:00pm
               Holiday Action for $14 Now
               Eaton's Centre (Dundas and Yonge)
               Sonia Singh: (647) 235-6912

               Saturday, Dec. 14, 1:00 - 3:00pm
               Petition drive
               Malvern Town Centre, 31 Tapscott Rd. (at Neilson Rd. and
               McLevin Ave.)
               Jennifer Huang: (647) 466-0112, jhuang@labourcouncil.ca

Thunder Bay    Saturday, Dec. 14, 11:00am - 1:00pm
               Public signing petitions and post cards to the Premier of
               Meet at Memorial Avenue. and Isabel Street.
               Terri Carter: (807) 577-5833, povertyfreetb@gmail.com

Welland        Saturday, Dec. 14, 8:00am - 12:00pm
               Outreach Blitz
               Welland Market, 50 Market Square (on the Corner of Young and
               Division Streets)
               Sue Hotte: (905) 932-1646

Whitby         Saturday, Dec. 14, 2:00pm
               Action outside office of MPP Christine Elliot's office
               101 - 114 Dundas Street East, Whitby
               Jim Freeman: (905) 431-5607, jimfreeman301@gmail.com

Woodstock      Saturday, Dec. 14
               Outreach at Woodstock Farmers Market
               875 Nellis Street, Woodstock
               Broderick Carey: (519) 421-5938

The Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage is coordinated by ACORN, Freedom 90, Mennonite New Life Centre, OCAP, Ontario Campaign 2000, Parkdale Community Legal Services, Put Food in the Budget, Social Planning Toronto, Toronto and York Region Labour Council and Workers' Action Centre.

Sonia Singh
(647) 235-6912 or (416) 531-0778, ext. 221

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