From the BC Federation of Labour
Friday might have been April Fools’ Day, but it’s no joke that BC has the lowest minimum wage in the country, says the B.C. Federation of Labour.
“Today is the day that British Columbia officially moves into last place with the lowest minimum wage in Canada,” said Irene Lanzinger, President of the B.C. Federation of Labour. “Despite having the highest cost of living, Premier Clark and the B.C. Liberals have chosen to leave hundreds of thousands of low-wage workers in poverty.”
The B.C. Federation of Labour continues to call on the B.C. Liberal government to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour to ensure that a person working full-time and earning the minimum wage can live above the poverty line.
“There are more than half a million workers earning less than $15/hour in this province. That’s 27 per cent of our entire workforce earning a wage that is at or below the poverty line,” said Lanzinger.
There is a growing list of jurisdictions in North America moving to a $15/hour minimum wage, the most recent being the State of California. The Premier might be happy to turn her back on the growing ranks of low-wage earners in this province, but British Columbians disagree with her on this issue.
A poll conducted by Insights West reveals that 83 per cent of British Columbians think it is necessary to ensure a person earning the minimum wage lives above the poverty line. Furthermore, 76 per cent support raising the minimum wage to $15/hour.
“Growing poverty and income inequality in B.C. is something the public cares about. It impacts families, communities and our economy,” said Lanzinger. “It is time for the Premier and her government to take this issue seriously. No more tinkering around the edges — British Columbians want real action.
“We need a government that works for the people, not against them,” said Lanzinger. “This is their chance to do the right thing and put a plan in place that lifts the minimum wage to $15/hour.”
Minimum wage rates across Canada (as of April 1, 2016):
British Columbia $10.45/hour
Northwest Territories $12.50
New Brunswick $11.00
Nova Scotia $10.60
Quebec $10.55; $10.75
Prince Edward Island $10.50
More information on the Fight for $15 campaign can be found at www.fightfor15bc.ca.