B.C.’s minimum wage to increase to $11.25 by September 2017
B.C.’s minimum wage is currently Canada’s lowest at 10.45 cents an hour. But that will change in September when the province hikes the wage by 40 cents.
Prepping for dinner, business is steady at the Sizzling Tandoor restaurant.
Employees here earn 9.20 cents an hour.
That’s the minimum wage paid to liquor servers in the province.
But Premier Christy Clark announced that all of BC’s minimum wage earners will get a pay hike this fall.
“We’re raising the minimum wage over and above the consumer price index.”
The increase is two-fold.
Forty cents on September 15th, taking B.C.’s minimum wage from last place in Canada, to middle of the pack at 10.85 cents an hour.
Then again, another 30 cents in 2017 to eleven dollars and 25 cents an hour.
Sizzling Tandoor server Stacey Weatherall says the hike will help.
“It’s definitely going to help a lot, really. We work hard, we are a busy establishment. And if anything it’s going to make the service better, and make us work harder.”
But the NDP’s Shane Simpson is not impressed.
“That’s what she put on the table today. Thirty cents of new money. And how much does that really do for people?”
The head of the BC Federation of Labour, Irene Lanzinger, is equally unimpressed.
“It moves us to seventh this September, and eighth in October. In October, P.E.I. will have a minimum wage of 11 dollars an hour. In October in the most expensive province in the country, we will be behind Prince Edward Island.”
Back at the restaurant, owner Kirn Bawa is cautious about the increases.
“I don’t think it will affect hours and stuff because most businesses will want to keep their service continuous. It’s just a matter of all businesses matching up their prices to the minimum wage.”
The government says the increases add up to an annual hike of $1400 for full-time minimum wage earners.