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

Critical Condition: ‘People are dying from treatable medical conditions’

Problems with ambulance service policies are systemic and province-wide, advocacy group leader says.

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

BC BUDGET: NDP cracks down on speculators, hidden ownership

Foreign buyers’ tax extended to Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Vancouver Island

BC BUDGET: Payroll tax replaces medical premiums

Health spending to increase $1.5 billion for drugs, primary care teams

B.C. freestyle skier wins gold

Cassie Sharpe of Comox shines in the halfpipe

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

WATCH: Vancouver Island family builds eight-foot igloo in their yard

Sunday snowfall on the mid-Island leads to all-day family activity

Three new judges appointed to B.C. Supreme Court

Two spots filled in Vancouver, one in New Westminster

BCHL Today: Merritt’s Buckley nets scholarship and Vees slam Salmon Arm

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Trial date delayed in case of slain Victoria sisters

Andrew Berry’s next court appearance will be in three weeks to set a date for trial to begin

B.C. MP invites convicted terrorist to Trudeau reception in India

Jaspal Atwal was convicted of trying to assassinate an Indian cabinet minister

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Women’s ice hockey team loses first Olympic game in 20 years

Team Canada added two silvers and a bronze to their total

Canadian support split on Trans Mountain pipeline debate: Poll

Angus Reid poll surveying Canadians on pipeline stance finds no clear winner

Most Read