BC government boosts minimum wage to $12.65 in June


"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.

By June 2021, B.C.'s minimum wage will rise to at least $15.20 an hour.

Premier John Horgan announced Thursday morning that the province has decided to make increases every year on June 1 after reviewing recommendations from the Fair Wages Commission.

Horgan said today that in order to get to the $15 an hour mark in that timeframe, the minimum wage will increase by $1.30 an hour on June 1st to $12.65 an hour.

"[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.

"Freezing the minimum wage for 10 years hurt people, and then increasing it in a sporadic and unplanned way hurt businesses".

Horgan said raising the minimum wage is one component of the government's plan to make life more affordable.

People earning minimum wage can expect a slight increase this summer.

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In 2014, the B.C. Federation of Labour launched a "Fight for $15" campaign. Next week's throne speech will talk about other measures, including child care and housing affordability, he said. "We'd love to hear from businesses out there who this is going to impact and we'd like to make sure the government hears from them so they can make any adjustments as we move forward in the next few years".

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

The B.C. Chamber of Commerce agreed.

"Overall, we are in support of predictable wage increases but we do feel it should be part of a bigger strategy and measuring the outcomes is really key to that as well", he said.

In a statement, federation President Irene Lanzinger said reaching $15 is better than any measure taken by the former BC Liberal government to address poverty wages and inequality.

The province is attempting to avoid similar criticism to what the Ontario government received when it jacked up the hourly rate on January 1, 2018 from $11.60 to $14 per hour.

In Surrey, the province's second-most populous city after Vancouver, the city's board of trade said the stress of the minimum-wage hike will be tough on its members, especially as it comes after increased property taxes and federal tax changes, among other stresses. "I am especially concerned that this may be the straw that breaks some of them", board-of-trade CEO Anita Huberman said in a statement.