Minimum wage to increase twice

The province is increasing the minimum wage faster than expected.

British Columbia will no longer have Canada’s lowest minimum wage after a 40 cent increase announced for this fall takes effect.

The provincial government announced the increase from $10.45 to $10.85 Wednesday morning. Another increase of 30 cents is scheduled for the spring of 2017.

Based on the Consumer Price Index, an increase of just 10 cents an hour would have been automatic this year.

Now the government says there is room to increase faster than that due to a booming economy.

“B.C.’s economy is expected to lead the country in economic growth this year and next,” Minister for Jobs Shirley Bond said in a press release. “We want to strike a balance where we bring the minimum wage into line with our strong economy.”

Local and provincial business associations pushed back against the change.

“This is a rather hefty jump,” said Lynn Whitehouse, executive director of the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce.

She said it will cause a strain on local businesses that pay minimum wage. It may also affect those who pay more.

“It puts pressure on employers to increase everybody’s wage rates,” Whitehouse said.

“For our businesses, the bottom line is the need for certainty and predictability,” said Maureen Kirkbride, interim CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. “Quite simply, we need to take the politics out of minimum wage increases.”

Kirkbride called for increases to remain tied to the consumer price index.

The government paired the announced wage increase with a 40 per cent cut in the small business tax. By 2017-18 a small business making $100,000 will pay $1,500 in taxes, down from $2,500 now.

The BC Federation of Labour said the increase was not enough.

“This is just one more missed opportunity for the premier and the government to do what’s right,” said BC Fed president Irene Lanzinger.

The Federation of Labour is pushing for a $15 per hour minimum wage, a campaign that has been taking place through various groups across North America.

For about a decade between 2001 and 2011, British Columbia’s minimum wage remained frozen at $8 an hour.

It is currently the lowest in Canada, compared to $11.20 an hour in Alberta, $11.25 in Ontario (with an increase to $11.40 scheduled for this fall) and $10.75 in Quebec.


Just Posted

PHOTOS: Charity Langley car show starts tradition of caring for people with cancer

Ken Johnson wanted an event that to feature his late friend’s vehicle, and it grew into a car show.

Self-guided Langley mural walk first of many new tourism experiences

Brochures are available for visitors and residents who want to check out some Langley City wall art.

UPDATED: Langley’s downtown business entity given 10-year extension

Langley City’s businesses can strategize future after new BIA bylaw was approved, president says.

VIDEO: Geocaching attracted adventure seekers to new Langley City event

Dozens of teams came out to discover a mix of art and nature during a new treasure hunt.

LETTER: Hat obnoxious, manager not bigoted

One Langley Advance letter writer takes exception to another’s comments about an MAGA hat incident.

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Exotic corpse flower begins to emit is putrid scent at Vancouver conservatory

A unique and exotic tropical plant, acclaimed for its size and abhorred for its smell, is blooming at a Vancouver conservatory.

CREA reports June home sales down 10.7% from year ago, but up from May

The Canadian Real Estate Association says home sales in June were down 10.7 per cent compared with a year ago.

Tens of thousands give heroes’ welcome to Croatia team

Euphoria gave way to a mixture of disappointment and pride for Croatia fans after their national team lost to France in its first ever World Cup final.

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

SilverStar officially opens Gondola

The brand-new gondola is now offering scenic rides for visitors on SilverStar Mountain Resort.

Most Read