VICTORIA, B.C. — B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver says that though he is pleased about yesterday’s announcement by the provincial government that the Fair Wages Commission will look at raising the minimum wage to $15/hour, he’s concerned about the commission’s timeline.
“Although I am pleased to see an important piece of our agreement move forward, I am concerned that the apparent addition of a 2021 timeline is prejudicial to the work of the Fair Wages Commission,” said Weaver. The Commission is one of the items that was included in the Confidence and Supply agreement that was reached between the NDP and Greens that resulted in the toppling of the previous Liberal government. Weaver said that the timeline of reaching the $15/hour mark by 2021 has not been agreed upon between the parties, and is contradictory to the intention of depoliticizing the Fair Wages Commission.
“The Fair Wages Commission should determine the timeline for minimum wage increases based on evidence and through consultation with stakeholders,” said Weaver. “The Commission must consult with small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy, to ensure they can continue to thrive. The timeline and wage increases should not be made for political purposes and should not be arbitrarily set in advance.”
“British Columbians are facing skyrocketing costs of living and increasing income insecurity as the economy changes rapidly. Minimum wage is just one way we can move towards all British Columbians having a livable income. The Fair Wages Commission must be empowered to make recommendations at arms-length based on evidence to ensure that wage increases create better income security for all British Columbians.”