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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister responsible for Labour, Shirley Bond, says the BC government won’t be raising the minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour any time soon.

On April 1, New Brunswick hiked its minimum wage to $10.65 cents an hour, leaving B.C. in last place on the country’s list at $10.45.

Irene Lanzinger, president of the BC Federation of Labour, had a one word description for that: ‘shameful.’

Without confirming how much, Bond says the government does plan to boost the current minimum wage later this year, but not before September.

However, claiming it would be ‘challenging for business,’ she’s rejecting an increase to $15 an hour — something the labour Federation has advocated for a long time.

On April 15, the Federation is taking part in a cross country fight for fair wages in what’s being billed as Canada’s first official ‘Fight for 15’, National Day of Action.

In addition, organized labour is determined to again next year make this a provincial election issue.

The Federation also claims there are more half a million workers in the province earning less than $15 an hour, putting 27 per cent of the entire workforce at or below the poverty line.

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