KAMLOOPS — Good news for workers earning the minimum wage in British Columbia.
On Thursday, Premier John Horgan announced the hourly minimum wage will rise $1.30 to $12.65 beginning June 1, 2018, will rise another $1.20 to $13.85 by June 1, 2019, rise another .75 to $14.60 by June 1, 2020 before hitting $15.20 an hour by June of 2021.
The four hikes represent a 34 per cent increase over four years and comes on the heels of the work of B.C.'s Fair Wage Commission.
"The announcement should come as no surprise," said Labour Minister Harry Bains. "$15 minimum wage was a commitment we ran on in our last election. It contributes directly to our promise to make life more affordable for British Columbians."
The first boost this June is expected to benefit 94,000 minimum-wage earners and Bains said the Fair Wage Commission made their recommendations based on consutlations across B.C.
"To listen to workers, employers, academics, economists, business organizations and labour groups. They also looked at experiences of other jurisdictions, the history of wage increases and the impact those impacts had on businesses and on employment."
Premier John Horgan said the raise "is long overdue" and added "British Columbia workers will be on the same pay scale as workers in other provinces like Ontario, Alberta and Quebec."
Commenting on the plight of minimum wage workers he said: "They shouldn't have to rely on foodbanks. They shouldn't have to rely on two and three jobs, they should be able to find a place where they can make an honest living, feed their families and realize their full potential."
According to the province, over 20 per cent of all workers in B.C. earn less than $15 an hour. Of those earning less than $15 an hour, 52 per cent are over age 25, more than three-quarters are not students, 61 per cent are in coupled families, and over 51 per cent have gone to college or university.
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