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Aug 2, 2017

Minimum wage hikes ‘sad to see’: Cineplex CEO

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Cineplex CEO Ellis Jacob isn’t happy about the minimum wage changes coming to Ontario and Alberta.

“It’s sad to see what’s happening, because at the end of the day in a lot of cases, we are the first job for a lot of the individuals that we hire,” he told BNN in an interview Wednesday.

“A lot of times when I’m in presentations and meetings, there are half a dozen CEOs and four out of six of them worked in a movie theatre or at a Cineplex,” he added.

Jacob said his company, which reported a profit miss for the second quarter Wednesday due to a decline in attendance, is looking at a trio of levers to offset any costs from the upcoming wage hikes.

“We are focusing on three areas: one is efficiency, two is technology, and three is pricing to see how we get that into balance,” he said.

The Ontario government unveiled plans in May to increase minimum wage in the provinces to $15 per hour from $11.40 by 2019. Alberta will also see a wage hike to $15 from its current $12.20, but by 2018.

Ultimately, Jacob said, the wage hikes are going to have a “ripple effect” on Cineplex and other companies.

He said the company has voiced its concerns with the Retail Council of Canada.