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Changing the rate

Jeanie Nagora is passionate about wage reform in Ontario. As a student working two minimum wage jobs, she joined around a dozen people outside of the office of MPP Michael Gravelle (Lib.
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Protesters rally outside of the office of MPP Michael Gravelle (Lib., Thunder Bay - Superior North) Thursday. The protesters are calling on the province to raise the rate of minimum wage to $14 an hour. (Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com)

Jeanie Nagora is passionate about wage reform in Ontario.

As a student working two minimum wage jobs, she joined around a dozen people outside of the office of MPP Michael Gravelle (Lib., Thunder Bay - Superior North) Thursday to hand the provincial government a novelty cheque for $5.1 billion, the estimate of what would be injected into the economy if the minimum wage was raised to $14 an hour.

A minimum wage job at the current $10.25 is a lot of work for very little respect, Nagora said.

"Very hard,very stressful too," she said as those rallying held signs and chanted for the government to raise the rates.

"You don't have much time for anything else."

The rally was one of many from Kenora to Ottawa outside of MPP offices Thursday. The local rally, organized by Poverty Free Thunder Bay and the Thunder Bay and District Labour Council, is looking to get the public to sign a petition that MPPs will bring back to Queen's Park.

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The labour council's Sandra Snider said without the raise, people are going to fall further and further behind every year.

"People on minimum wage are living way below the poverty line," she said.

Snider said major corporations are leading the charge to keep the minimum wage where it is, which isn't right.

"Some of the biggest corporations making the biggest profit they can afford it and they're not," she said.

Poverty Thunder Bay chair Terri Carter said more than 300 people have signed the petition so far.

"A lot of people are struggling, they're having a hard time," she said.

"There's a huge movement for this."