The Economy is based on perpetual growth. Along with that growth comes inflation. That inflation leads to higher wages which leads to more inflation ( in the order of around 2% / year) The problem is that the minimum wage NEVER kept up with the rate of inflation. (on that note neither did base salaries in most corporations).
The only people that were being compensated for inflation were the Highest paid wage earners. The major problem here is that there are becoming more and more bottom end earners which actually stifles the economy because they have no spending power to put back into the economy. They barely make enough to survive. Given the increase in the minimum wage they have a little more power for discretionary spending so that money goes back into the economy and the cycle continues.
Anyone here remember paying less that $5 for a Big MAc Combo? It wasn't that long ago. The Wage increase didn't drive that price up to $14 inflation did.
Why do you think Airlines right now cannot find Mechanics or Rampies? Because they are still paying the same base wage they paid in !995. It is not a living wage. To survive in any Major city in this country you need a decent income. Rent in Toronto for a small 1 bedroom is sitting close to if not over $2000/month At minimum wage That leave a minimum wage earner with $500 on which to live and thats before you account for taxes.
Now before all the Baby Boomers pipe up and say "well you have to pay your dues. Remember back in 1963 a house in Toronto was $16,000 Today that same house would be almost $1.5 million. The work ethic and drive no longer apply here. It is impossible for an entry level worker to achieve what the previous generations achieved just by working hard or multiple jobs.
Bottom line. increasing minimum wage was necessary to the economy. The benefits of that will lag the initial effect by a couple of years until the market adjusts.