The size of your nest egg is dependent on how much time you give your money to compound. Flickr/Creative Commons

B.C. to increase minimum wage to $15.20/hour in 2021

Premier John Horgan says next increase will come in June

The B.C. government has announced the province’s minimum wage will go up to $15.20 an hour in 2021.

““People making minimum wage need to be able to pay rent and put food on the table. People working full time should not be fighting poverty,” Labour Minister Harry Bains told a news conference Thursday at a JJ Bean coffee shop in North Vancouver.” When Toronto raised its minimum wage to $14 an hour earlier this year, the company – which has a location in Toronto – did the same for its Vancouver staff.

The province’s move comes as a result of work done by the fair wages commission, set up last summer to plot out how to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, as part of the NDP’s campaign promises.

The commission’s report, released Thursday, recommended “frontloading” the wage hikes to take advantage of B.C.’s strong economy and low unemployment rate. It means the first increase will be the highest, with smaller raises each time until $15.20 is reached.

B.C.’s minimum wage is currently $11.35 an hour – the third highest in Canada.

The next hike will come in June to at least $12.65 an hour. That makes for an increase of $1.30 this year, and $1.20, $0.75 and $0.60 in the next three years.

Asked about how small businesses will cope, Horgan pointed to other savings the NDP has introduced in recent months.

“We’re moving to remove the PST on electricity for businesses… for those who are paying medical services premiums for their employees – that too has been cut in half,” he said.

“What the commission heard is that they want predictability and a time frame to make decisions, shape their human resource planning [and] their operations planning.”

The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses doesn’t agree.

Richard Truscott, the vice-president of B.C. and Alberta operations, said government’s role should be to provide training and job growth opportunities for people trying to get by with low-skilled, minimum wage jobs.

“Small businesses typically operate in competitive markets on very thin margins,” Truscott said. “The $15 minimum wage may be great politics, but it is terrible economic policy.”

BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver had protested about what he had called an “arbitrary” goal of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021.

Now with the commission’s report, Weaver he said the plan will help “keep politics out of minimum wage discussions.”

Recommendations for a minimum wage for workers in hospitality, agriculture, resident care and live-in support will come in March. Another report on the discrepancy between the minimum wage and a “liveable wage” is set for later this year.

A liveable wage is considered one that accounts for housing, food, clothing, transportation, recreation, savings and education. The living wage in Metro Vancouver is $20.62 per hour.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project searches for partners

TransCanada is renewing permits for its natural gas pipeline project to North Coast.

Coastal GasLink stops work to investigate archaeological find

OGC archaeologists are en route to the Houston-area site where Unist’ot’en report finding stone tools

Coastal GasLink prepares sites of construction work camps

Unist’ot’en condemn 14 ‘man camps’ housing 500-800 workers as threatening safety of women and children

TSKLH Nation sues Province over Brucejack mine revenue sharing

The Tsetsaut/Skii km Lax Ha seeks to assert rights and title in the area around Pretivm gold mine.

‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’: Seven children die in Halifax house fire

A man and woman remained in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the man with life-threatening injuries

B.C. high school robotics team ranked first in the world for programming

The Surrey team was also named tournament finalists at VEX Robotics Competition on Feb. 1

Man shot dead in front of Kamloops hotel may be case of mistaken identity: RCMP

Rex Gill, 44, was not previously known to Kamloops police unlike second shooting victim

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Payless to close 248 Canadian stores, saying it’s ‘ill-equipped’ for market

The company will begin closing stores at the end of March

Make sure measles shots up to date, Public Health Agency says

Measles causes high fever, coughing, sneezing and a widespread painful rash

Super snow moon set to rise across B.C.

It is the biggest and brightest moon of the year

Minister says plans to fight poverty, climate change, focus of B.C. budget

The NDP said in its throne speech last week that affordability will be the hallmark of its initiatives

UPDATED: ‘Violent’ B.C. man back in custody after Alberta arrest

Prince George man with ties to Vernon was being sought by police

Most Read