B.C.’s minimum wage in the spotlight in Kelowna Tuesday

The Fair Wages Commission will hold a hearing to gather public input

The B.C. Fair Wages Commission is coming to Kelowna Tuesday to hear what people in the Okanagan think about the minimum wage in this province

The commission is working independently to advise the provincial government on how to move towards a $15-an-hour minimum wage with increases that are regular, measured and predictable.

The commissioners are particularly interested in hearing the experiences and recommendations of those who earn less than $15-an-hour and their representatives, employers who will be affected by the new minimum wages and employers and workers who can speak to details of minimum wage rates for farm workers, liquor servers, live-in caregivers, resident caretakers, and live-in camp leaders. For these workers, the minimum wage rate differs from the general minimum wage.

It also wants to hear from those from specific sectors (such as the technology or tourism sectors); and trade unions. We also welcome the views of economists and others who can give advice on the impact of minimum wage changes on economic activity.

But if you want to speak to the commission in Kelowna on Tuesday, you have to book a place in advance. A limited number of spots are still available between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

If you would like to appear before the commission, email FWC@gov.bc.ca, noting the day/location you would like to attend. A time will be allocated according to the schedule’s availability. Some spots are still available for the Kelowna hearing.

The consultations are taking place in the following locations:

Nov. 21 – Kelowna at the Sandman Hotel & Suites from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Nov. 23 – Vancouver at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Nov. 28 – Prince George at the Coast Inn of the North from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Nov. 29 – Victoria at the Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Nov. 30 – Surrey at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel Surrey from 1 p.m to 5 p.m.

Dec. 7 – Cranbrook at the Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The commission has already held hearings in Abbotsford and Nanaimo.

The commission says the public’s input will be considered, along with academic briefs, research reviews, industry and stakeholder consultations, verbal presentations and interviews with experts and people from other jurisdictions. All input will be collected and provided to the commission members for consideration in their first report that is due by the end of the year. Input will be accepted until Dec. 7 at 4 p.m.

A summary report detailing all of the comments and feedback submitted from stakeholders will be posted to the website following the public consultation. Please check back to review the summary report when posted.

For more information go to the Fair Wages Commission website at info: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/fairwagescommission/

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