Published: Thu, August 17, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

BC announces minimum wage increase for September

BC announces minimum wage increase for September

Workers will be receiving a 50-cent increase in September.

But Bains said the minimum wage increase was meant to go hand-in-hand with plans his government had to make living in BC more affordable.

To anyone hoping for more than that, Bains said the new government is doing everything it can to catch up with years of no wage increases at all for low wage workers.

Other minimum-wage provisions in the employment standards regulation will also receive increases in line with the general minimum-wage increase of 4.6%. But in a nod to the Green Party, which has pledged to support the NDP in forming government, the NDP today announced a fair wages commission will be struck in the coming months to meet with stakeholders.

The NDP had campaigned in the May election to increase the minimum wage in $15 per hour. The commission's first report will be due by December or January.

Liberal labour critic John Martin criticized Horgan for releasing no information on what Martin called Horgan's "so-called fair wages commission" as well as Horgan not outlining a clear path for consultation with small business owners.

"British Columbia's lowest-paid workers need a raise", Premier Horgan said in a statement that came with the August 15 announcement of the "long overdue" minimum wage hike.

"Restaurants Canada is pleased that the BC government is maintaining the previously-announced 2017 minimum wage increases that small businesses have been preparing for".

Oakes says this increase, for mom and pop type shops, could be the difference in hiring an extra person... "We're concerned when governments move too quickly and at the wrong time, as it hurts businesses, customers and employees".

Alberta will be the first province to reach the $15 per hour rate next year, while Ontario plans to reach that rate in 2019.

The current living wage in Metro Vancouver is $20.62 per hour, according to campaigners.

British Columbia has seen five increases to the minimum wage since 2011 after it was frozen at $8 for a decade under former premier Gordon Campbell.

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