Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

$15 minimal wage received't be sufficient in Victoria, says chamber of commerce

$15 minimal wage received't be sufficient in Victoria, says chamber of commerce

Horgan says 400,000 people in BC earn below minimum wage and this increase is one step closer towards the governments plan to creating a more affordable future for the people of British Columbia. "The fact is it's good for the economy to raise the wages of low wage workers". "Overall I would say it's a win for B.C.'s lowest paid workers".

The three experts who led the Fair Wages Commission recommended predictable and regular hikes and said the hourly wage rate could be raised to $15.40 an hour by 2021, depending on economic conditions.

"Skyrocketing costs of living in most parts of British Columbia demands a $15 minimum wage", said Joie Warnock, Unifor Western Regional Director.

The Fair Wages Commission was established in October 2017 as an arm's-length government body to help guide public engagement on how B.C. should achieve a $15-an-hour minimum wage, and also the timeline for implementation.

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.

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"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're pleased that we finally have a path to 15 and workers know when they are going to get there", she said.

"If you look at the price of life in Victoria, $15 an hour is not going to do it", Catherine Holt, CEO of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce, said on CBC's.

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

Horgan said B.C.is making other changes to help businesses such as eliminating the provincial sales tax on electricity by 2019.

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"It's a big step to see the increases front loaded", she said, noting that by June 2019 the minimum wage will be $2.50 higher than it is today and close to $14 an hour.

It is, however, short of the living wage of $20.62 in Vancouver, Ivanova 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 party made its first move toward that goal in September, when the wage rose from $10.85 to $11.35.

Over 20% of all workers in B.C. earn less than $15 an hour.

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