B.C.’s NDP government plans to raise the province’s minimum wage by $0.50, to $11.35 an hour, on September 15, and move that rate to $15 per hour by 2021.
The former BC Liberal government had already planned this rate hike so it is not a surprise to business owners.
The move will give B.C. the third-highest minimum wage among Canadian provinces and is something that Premier John Horgan called overdue.
“British Columbia's lowest-paid workers need a raise,” he said in an August 15 statement.
“The action we’re taking will make life better for working parents, seniors, new Canadians, students and more – these are people struggling to get by.”
Liberal labour critic John Martin criticized Horgan for releasing no information on what Martin called Horgan’s “so-called fair wages commission” as well as Horgan not outlining a clear path for consultation with small business owners.
That commission is expected to be established in the next few weeks and will study how best to time raises the minimum wage to to meet the NDP's goal of $15 per hour by 2021 while not disrupting small business success.
Also on September 15, B.C.’s liquor servers’ wage will also rise by 50 cents to $10.10 per hour.
Other minimum-wage provisions in the employment standards regulation will also receive increases in line with the general minimum-wage increase of 4.6%.
This includes the daily rate for live-in home support workers and live-in camp leaders, as well as the monthly rates for resident caretakers and the minimum farm worker piece rates for harvesters of certain fruits and vegetables.
“Today's increase and our commitment to the $15 minimum wage will benefit almost 100,000 British Columbians who have been getting by on one of the lowest minimum wages in the country,” said Horgan, adding that 62% of minimum-wage earners are women.