BC Chamber likes the new minimum wage increase

The provincial government’s announcement regarding an increase to the minimum wage is welcome news to the BC Chamber of Commerce and its members.
Shirley Bond, minister for jobs, tourism and skills training and minister of labour announced Thursday, March 12, that the government is indexing increases in the general minimum hourly wage and liquor server wage to BC’s Consumer Price Index (CPI).
She said the government is committed to reasonable and predictable yearly minimum wage increases linked to the BC CPI. Going forward, from 2016 onward, the minimum wage will be determined using a formula calculated upon the percentage the BC CPI increased in the previous calendar year. In years where there is a negative CPI change, the minimum wage would stay the same.
In addition, this indexing formula is being applied to the period since the last minimum wage increase in 2012. Effective Sept. 15, the general minimum hourly wage will increase from $10.25 to $10.45 and the liquor server wage from $9 to $9.20 per hour.
“This is a responsible move, with the degree of certainty that businesses appreciate”  John Winter, president and CEO of the BC Chamber, said in a statement. “This increase keeps BC competitive and aligns us with the minimum wages seen in other provinces.”
Increases to the minimum wage have a very real and direct effect on business, especially small business.
“We commend the provincial government on implementing an increase to minimum wage in BC and a plan for future changes, giving businesses a window to plan and prepare,” Winter said.
Most businesses are likely to be open to an idea that sees minimum wage tied to inflation through a consistent and transparent formula that could give business the certainty they need around these issues and this plan addresses that, he said.
The BC Chamber is the largest and most broadly-based business organization in the province. Representing more than 125 Chambers of Commerce and 36,000 businesses of every size, sector and region of the province.
Judy Goodman, executive director of the Revelstoke Chamber, said Winter’s comments summed up the thinking in Revelstoke.