The Northern Ontario Party is making claims that minimum wage increases very well could damage the fragile northern job market.

That’s according to Leader Trevor Holliday, who says northern communities have limited employers, and this increase could very well amplify the amount of job loss within the north.

The Liberal provincial government has passed legislation that will require employers to pay employees a minimum wage of $14 per hour in 2018 and $15 hourly in 2019.

Holliday says the Liberals have patted themselves on the back for months over the province leading the country in job growth, only to have it revealed that the real improvements were only felt in Toronto and Ottawa.

PC MPP Vic Fedeli says that tens of thousands of people will lose their jobs because of this decision to raise the minimum wage.

Fedeli also says this is nothing more than a pre-election Hail Mary pass from the Liberals.

A Liberal representative could not be reached for comment.

The official first increase of 21 per cent from $11.60 an hour to $14 per hour will take place as of January 1st, 2018.