BC government raises minimum wage to reflect economic growth

UCW News Team  |  July 27, 2016

Magnifying galls looking at wages

The British Columbia government is set to increase minimum wage to reflect the economic growth the province has been experiencing and ensure that workers benefit from this growth. The hike will be carried out in two stages.

In 2015, the government had taken the decision to index the minimum wage to the province’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), which resulted in an increase of 10 cents in the minimum wage that year. However, trends show that BC will have the highest economic growth out of all the provinces in 2016, and this growth will continue the following year as well. This has prompted the provincial government to adjust the minimum wage higher than British Columbia’s CPI.

The first increase of 40 cents will take place on September 15, 2016, taking the minimum wage to $10.85 an hour. This hike is inclusive of the 10-cent increase according to the 2015 CPI. The second increase will be in the amount of 30 cents based on the CPI of 2016, bringing the minimum wage to $11.25 per hour. The second hike will take effect from September 15, 2017.

The provincial government has confirmed that it will be reducing the tax rate for small business by 40 percent by 2017-18. Experts say that small business owners generating an income of $100,000 will see a steep reduction in taxes, which will go from $2,500 to $1,500.

British Columbia’s government will also be investing $2.88 million in new training programs to help small business owners, young adults and employers in the agriculture, hospitality, aquaculture and retail sectors. These programs will train young people to help them increase their employability in these sectors. The first program will get an investment of $2.38 million via Canada-BC Job Grant.

BC Premier Christy Clark said that one of the first things she did upon becoming the Premier was to increase the minimum wage. She believes that increasing the minimum wage twice over the next couple of years along with support for businesses and young people will allow everyone to benefit from the province’s growing economy.

Minister of Small Business, Red Tape Reduction and Minister Responsible for Liquor Distribution Branch, Coralee Oakes, said the government is aware that small business owners are the backbone of BC’s economy. The Canada-BC Job Grant program will cover training costs in their entirety when small businesses hire and train an unemployed person. This would be a win-win situation for all stakeholders.

British Columbia is one of the success stories in Canada. Its small business-friendly policies and incentives are attracting entrepreneurs. However, entrepreneurship comes with its own challenges that require swift and prompt actions and solutions. That is why prospective entrepreneurs will benefit from getting a UCW MBA degree. The MBA program is designed to turn entrepreneurs into successful leaders in a competitive and diverse business environment. 

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