Economy

NDP confirms BC's planned $0.50 minimum wage hike in September

NDP confirms BC's planned $0.50 minimum wage hike in September

Effective Sept. 15, the general minimum wage will increase from $10.85 to $11.35 and the liquor server wage will increase from $9.60 to $10.10.

"I think what we are doing is going with a responsible, fair approach so that the businesses know that it's predictable, it's incremental increases going forward so they can look at their structure, their costs ahead of time and knowing fully well what their costs will be", he said.

He said the increases would give more spending power to low-wage earners, which would boost the economy.

The current minimum wage in our neighbouring province is $12.20/hour, but is due to rise to $13.60/hour on October 1st.

When the wage goes up this September, B.C. will have the third highest minimum wage in Canada. "Rest assured, an increase to the minimum wage is coming". After forming government, it agreed with the Green party to set up a commission that would oversee regular rate reviews.

Members of the public should expect to see the commission's first report in December this year, or January 2018, some 90 days after it has its first meeting, Bains said.

"They will be doing a consultation with all stakeholders and academics and they will find a pathway for us on how they can guide us to reach $15", Bains said.

Not only that, the government has released no information on "their so-called fair wages commission" or how they plan to consult with the small business community.

"British Columbians can not afford to roll the dice - we should have the facts, first".

The former BC Liberal government had already planned this rate hike so it is not a surprise to business owners.

Oakes says this increase, for mom and pop type shops, could be the difference in hiring an extra person...

"They were left behind by the previous government for too long", said Bains, adding that the half-a-dollar increase was just the first step.

"To get to $15 an hour you're looking at much larger increases the next four years to get there".

"Increasing minimum wage is only one way that the new government will help make life more affordable for British Columbians, but it is an important start".


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