B.C.’s minimum wage will increase to $16.75 per hour on June 1

Click to play video: 'B.C. minimum wage set to rise to $16.75'
B.C. minimum wage set to rise to $16.75
B.C. is set to have the highest minimum wage in the country - jumping by more than a dollar an hour. Small businesses say this could cost them tens of thousands of dollars a year. But as Richard Zussman reports, more help could be on the way – Apr 5, 2023

B.C. will be getting a minimum wage boost on June 1.

Labour Minister Harry Bains made the announcement Wednesday, saying the minimum wage will rise by $1.10 to $16.75 an hour.

Right now it is $15.65 an hour.

B.C. will have the highest minimum wage of all provinces in Canada, Bains said.

This equates to a 6.9-per cent increase, consistent with inflation, he added.

Click to play video: 'Small businesses brace for minimum wage hike'
Small businesses brace for minimum wage hike

“Elevating the minimum wage is a necessary response to inflation. The inflation we are experiencing now in B.C. is driven by profits, not wages,” Jim Stanford, director, Centre for Future Work, said in a statement. “It is unfair to expect the most vulnerable workers to give up some of their non-discretionary income because of record-high inflation. By ensuring fairer compensation for our lowest-paid workers, we will reduce inequality and foster a more inclusive society.”

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The minimum wage was $10.45 per hour in 2015.

Click to play video: 'Business group lobbies for tax relief ahead of B.C. budget'
Business group lobbies for tax relief ahead of B.C. budget

Some organizations are not happy about the news.

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“The Surrey Board of Trade is disappointed that such a significant minimum wage increase was announced today, leading to further unsustainable cost increases for businesses,” Anita Huberman, president and CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade said in a statement.

“Such a significant increase in minimum wage should have been discussed last year with the business community, especially in the face of other unprecedented increases in taxes and fees from other levels of government.”

“It is imperative that the B.C. government focus on reducing costs to businesses by committing to convening a commission to review taxes and red tape impacting businesses.”

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