BC to get $15 minimum wage by the middle of 2021

Feb 11, 2018, 04:01
BC to get $15 minimum wage by the middle of 2021

In June, minimum wage will reach $12.65, and eventually, in three years, will actually exceed the promise by reaching $15.20.

Last summer, the B.C. NDP postponed the 2021 target promised during last spring's provincial election so an independent review panel - the Fair Wages Commission - could consider the timeline between the current $11.35 and $15.20 an hour.

The province's timeline to the $15 minimum wage make significant increases in the short term, giving workers a $2.50 per hour increase by June 1, 2019.

Ontario's minimum wage will rise to $15 an hour on January 1, 2019. Christy Clark announced an increase immediately after she formed government in 2011.

Minimum wage in B.C.is going up, but it won't be enough to address the affordability crisis in Victoria, says the head of the local chamber of commerce.

"Predictability and certainty allows businesses to plan and ensure they are prepared for these changes", he said.

"Those exemptions exist for liquor server wages and farmer workers and it's time that everybody earned the minimum wage", she said.

"We believe we have strong economic growth in British Columbia and the expectation is that will continue over the next few years", said Horgan.

Lanzinger says about 60 per cent of low wage workers are women, and 80 per cent are adults.

Commenting on the plight of minimum wage workers he said: "They shouldn't have to rely on foodbanks".

The move has already drawn criticism from the business community.

"We are taking a balanced approach that will work better for everyone, by bringing in measured and predictable increases over time", said Bains.

Alberta is wrapping up a four-year staged minimum wage increase that began in 2015.

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

The four increases between 2018 and 2021 represent a 34% increase over four years.

About half a million B.C. workers, or 25 per cent of the province's labour force, earn poverty level wages, which is considered less than $15 per hour.

She says 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".

The province estimated the increases will impact approximately 94,000 workers.

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.

"I am especially concerned that this may be the straw that breaks some of them", she said, adding businesses are facing increased property taxes, and increases in taxes due to recent federal tax changes to the CCPC.