Changes won’t solve minimum wage issue

Linking rate to inflation must be accompanied by an established baseline

In announcing changes to the wages of the lowest paid British Columbians it’s clear the provincial government got it half right.

Jobs Minister Shirley Bond announced that the minimum wage will be rising by 20 cents in September to $10.45 an hour, with all future increases tied to the B.C. consumer price index. Those increases will be determined in March with the wage hike to take effect in September, giving business time to adjust accordingly.

Linking the minimum wage to inflation is a good idea to provide certainty for both business and workers as well as eliminate the temptation of using people’s livelihood for political game.

Unfortunately, in linking the minimum wage to the consumer price index the government is acting on the assumption that the current rate is the definitive model. And the government’s argument fails under the weight of that one flawed assumption.

While the provincial government consulted with business owners prior to announcing the changes, the same courtesy doesn’t appear to have been extended to those representing low-income earners.

B.C. Federation of Labour president Irene Lanzinger said the announcement guarantees that hundreds of thousands of British Columbians will continue to live in poverty for years to come. Her call for a $15 minimum wage won’t be realized until 2034 under the government’s current plan.

People often have a tendency to downplay minimum wage workers as a small segment of the society primarily made up of students looking to make a few extra bucks. But the facts show otherwise: more than 120,000 British Columbians earn the minimum wage, and almost half of those are over the age of 25.

While the government has obviously listened to the concerns of business, those British Columbians struggling to put food on their family’s table will continue to have their voices go unheard.

 

Just Posted

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

GoodLife marathon helps enrich lives, share stories

Seniors’ care one of many causes supported by GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon

Oak Bay community invited to News’ 5th annual readers tea

Oak Bay News, Carlton House host Sept. 17 afternoon tea

Central Saanich strawberry farmer reports bumper crop

Strawberry season could last well into October

Tour Government House and other homes, enjoy art along the way

The Art Gallery’s 66th annual House Tour features artists at work, artistic floral displays

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Scheer makes quick campaign stop in Comox

Conservative leader highlights tax promises early in campaign

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Most Read