Published: Sun, February 11, 2018
Economy | By Melissa Porter

BC to raise minimum wage to $15 by 2021

BC to raise minimum wage to $15 by 2021

"[There will be] another increase the following June and a further increase the June after that, until we realize $15.20 in June of 2021", says Horgan.

The Fair Wages Commission, which was established last Fall, recommended the minimum wage rise by an additional $1.20 next year, tapering to a 75 cent raise in 2020, and between 60 and 80 cents in 2021 depending on the province's economic situation.

Premier John Horgan announced today that B.C. will adopt a $15-an-hour minimum wage by June 2021, after that amount was recommended by the Fair Wages Commission.

Ontario's minimum wage will rise to $15 an hour on January 1, 2019. That will be followed by a $1.20 increase a year later, then smaller raises in the following two years to reach $15.20 an hour on June 1, 2021.

People earning minimum wage can expect a slight increase this summer. "Like all British Columbians, our lowest-paid workers deserve a fair shake and a fair wage". Next week's throne speech will talk about other measures, including child care and housing affordability, he said.

"When low-wage earners have money in their pocket, they don't stock it away in offshore tax havens, they put it right back into the economy", stated Premier Horgan.

"We are looking to remove the PST on electricity for businesses".

"We are taking a balanced approach that will work better for everyone, by bringing in measured and predictable increases over time", said Bains. "Predictability and certainty are what's on our member's minds", Val Litwin, the commerce president and CEO, said in a statement.

Lanzinger said that fear-mongering about how raising the minimum wage will affect businesses doesn't play out in reality.

JJ Bean chose to give its Vancouver employees a wage increase after Ontario hiked its minimum wage from $11.60 to $14.

Restaurants Canada, which represents the country's restaurant and food services industry, says the annual increases are significantly higher than inflation.

"Making 500,000 low-paid workers who now make less than $15 wait until June 1, 2021 to climb above poverty wage rates is not fair", president Irene Lanzinger said in a statement.

She said other provinces such as Ontario and Alberta have moved much more quickly toward a $15 target.

"It's long overdue that workers in on the same pay scale as other provinces like Ontario, Quebec and Alberta", Horgan said.

They have warned since the topic first came up that small businesses in particular are operating on small margins, and cost increases would hurt them.

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