Our View: Review the minimum wage

Liberal candidates support review of minimum wage in B.C.

Try living on the minimum wage of $8/hour in British Columbia and see how far it gets you. Worse, try living on the ‘training wage’ of $6/hour. 

It’s a no-brainer that anyone on minimum wage can’t afford to put a roof over their head and food on the table. And that’s not factoring in hydro, telephone, transportation, medical, clothing —or kids.

In a recent report entitled Myths and Facts about the Minimum Wage in B.C., Iglika Ivanova of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, recommends that the provincial government immediately increase the minimum wage to $10/hour, and eliminate the $6 training wage. When the $8 minimum wage was introduced in 2001 it was the highest in Canada. But since then other provinces have increased their minimum wage levels to adjust for inflation, leaving this province now at the bottom of the rankings. Stats Canada draws the poverty line at an annual wage of $22,229 based on 2009 figures, which is equivalent to a wage of $11.11/hour based on a 40-hour week 50 weeks of the year.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business maintains small businesses can be adversely affected by an increase in the minimum wage. But Ivanova argues: “Employment levels in any economy, including B.C.’s, are determined by a number of factors and minimum wages are a very small player overall.” 

Another myth Ivanova diffused is that few people actually earn minimum wage. While only 2.3 per cent of B.C.’s workers actually earn $8, over 13 per cent of all employees in the province earn under $10/hour. That’s over 250,000 people.

Both George Abbott and Mike de Jong, candidates in the Liberal Party leadership race, have endorsed policies to review the minimum wage with public consultation. It’s long overdue.


Just Posted

Column: Make it a green Christmas

Instead of purchasing a cuddly stuffie this year, put your money towards helping the real thing.

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Kelowna city councillor suggests bringing back photo radar

Gail Given says it could help generate traffic fine revenue for the city—and make roads safer

‘Game changer” research deal between three B.C. Interior universities

UBCO, TRU, UNBC say deal will help innovation, research, aid students and increase quality of life

What’s happening

Find out about the events happening in your community this weekend

Interior Health holding immunization clinic in Vernon Saturday

IH issues list of Okanagan meningococcal immunization clinics

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Annual Christmas meal held as Kelowna Gospel Mission

The meal will be held tomorrow from 12 to 6 p.m.

Michaels: Big Brother has become a big letdown

“You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide, but privacy should still have some appeal.”

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

Accused Shuswap drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

AHUS patient Shantee Anaquod is home for Christmas

Less than a month after receiving first dose of $750K drug, 23 year old healthy enough to go home

Most Read