B.C.’s minimum wage to rise to $16.75 an hour come June 1. PHOTO by Pexels.
The BC Chamber of Commerce says it’s “extremely disappointed” with their provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage, arguing it’s “the wrong choice, at the wrong time.”
The B.C. government recently decided to increase the minimum wage by 6.9%. The boost in minimum pay was part of the provincial government’s promise to tie the benchmark pay level to inflation. The new minimum wage kicks in on June 1, and will bump the minimum wage to $16.75 an hour from the current $15.65 an hour.
The increase comes on the heels of several government decisions in the last 14 months that have added significantly to the cost of doing business in British Columbia, for example, through the introduction of the mandatory five days paid sick leave and the recently announced new statutory holiday. This announcement will make it difficult for many businesses to manage their operations moving forward and is a disincentive to (re)invest in our province,” said Fiona Famulak, President and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. “We believe the health of a community is a direct function of the health of the businesses that operate within it. Today’s announcement only adds to the urgency we see for government to take meaningful actions that support businesses so they can create jobs, hire workers, contribute to community growth and drive economic sustainability and prosperity.”
BC Federation of Labour president Sussanne Skidmore told the Canadian Press the wage hike was “much−needed”, pointing out that B.C. is one of the most expensive provinces in Canada.
At current levels, the new B.C. minimum wage is the third−highest in the country, behind Yukon’s $15.70 and Nunavut’s $16.