More jobs would bring higher wages

Hiring incentives would do more for workers than hike to minimum wage

A small crowd gathered in Victoria’s downtown last week to push for an increase to British Columbia’s minimum wage. Protesters took to the street outside the Bay Centre on Douglas Street for the Fight for Fifteen minimum wage blitz.

The Victoria campaign was echoed in Vancouver and elsewhere in the province to rally behind the B.C. Federation of Labour’s push to have the minimum wage raised to $15 an hour.

The call for an increase to B.C.’s $10.25 an hour minimum wage puts forward several rational points. Something seems inherently wrong with the fact that those working full time at minimum-wage jobs must still live below the poverty line, and it’s been shown that those at the bottom end of the wage scale are more likely to inject any wage increases right back into the economy.

Business contends a spike in the minimum wage will result in a loss of jobs, but previous warnings of dire economic consequences have never materialized when wages increased in jurisdictions across Canada and the U.S.  Premier Christy Clark, who raised the minimum wage from $8 to $10.25 in 2012, has said herself that further raises to the minimum wage could hurt job creation.

While we don’t believe a $15 an hour minimum wage will deliver a fatal blow to the province’s economy, we also don’t think raising the minimum wage is the cure to what ails the province’s workers. The $15 figure seems to have been arbitrarily set, and simply raising the minimum wage doesn’t address the underlying problem.

What is needed is for the province to provide tax credits and other incentives for companies that create jobs, whether they be minimum-wage or high-paying. More employment opportunities for workers would bring about higher wages for workers simply through the law of supply and demand. In contrast, the federal government has been busy introducing policies designed to place downward pressure on wages.

While a $5 jump in the minimum wage may not be the right move at this time, it’s time for the province to do something to counteract the economic damage Ottawa has inflicted on Canadian workers.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police incident in Mount Douglas Park leads to road closure

Officers turning cars away, letting hikers go up trails

PHOTOS: Women’s March through downtown Victoria draws crowds of activists, allies

Attendees of all ages carried instruments, posters with empowering messages

New Oak Bay bylaw supports planting 5,000 new trees

Residents can share thoughts on new tree protection bylaw at Jan. 29 open house

Victoria resident lives well despite dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Ice chunk from truck crushes vehicle windshield on Vancouver Island

None injured, but Nanaimo RCMP say there can be fines for accumulations of ice and snow

Calls for dialogue as Coastal GasLink pipeline polarizes some in northern B.C.

Coastal GasLink is building the 670-kilometre pipeline from British Columbia’s northeast to Kitimat on the coast

Most Read