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B.C.'s minimum wage will be highest in Canada

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May 31, 2021 - 1:00 PM

Workers in British Columbia are about to see the highest minimum wages in the country.

As of tomorrow, June 1, the province is boosting the minimum wage from $14.60 an hour to $15.20 an hour.

In addition to boosting the minimum wage, the liquor server minimum wage of $13.95 an hour is being eliminated and replaced with the general minimum wage of $15.20 an hour.

Over the past four years, B.C.’s general minimum wage has increased from $11.35 to $15.20 per hour, benefitting close to 400,000 B.C. employees, the majority of whom are women, immigrants and youth, a press release issued by the Ministry of Labour said today, May 31.

“In 2017, our government made a commitment to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by June, 2021, through regular, measured and predictable increases. As of tomorrow, we will have achieved and surpassed that goal,” B.C. Minister of Labour Harry Bains said.

Tomorrow’s minimum wage increase means British Columbia has gone from one of the lowest minimum wages in the country to the highest in the past four years.

Starting next year, increases in the minimum wage will be tied to inflation.

In 2020, 12 per cent of B.C. employees made less than $15.20 per hour.

Other increases include a more than $5-per-day boost in the minimum daily salary for a live-in camp leader, while the minimum monthly wage for a resident caretaker climbs to $912.28 plus $36.56 per suite for managers handling nine to 60 residential units. The minimum monthly salary for a resident caretaker responsible for more than 61 suites increases to $3,107.42 on June 1.

Rosario Agustin, a janitor in Vancouver, says the increases since 2017 have been important because the cost of living across the Lower Mainland is so high.

"I have worked at a skyscraper downtown for over 15 years, and most of that time I was making minimum wage and supporting my family as a single mom," Agustin says in the statement.

"The minimum going up helps raise the bar for all of us."

— With files from The Canadian Press


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