Your raise hikes my costs

Last September, when the minimum wage was raised, I didn't get to realize any benefit, but was exposed to all the consequences of this short-sighted action.

Let me offer an example. In 2008, I was making $12 per hour when the minimum wage was $8. I now receive $13 per hour working the same job, but the cost of everything is 40 to 50 per cent higher.

My standard of living has dropped significantly. I used to be able to save $150 per month, but now run deficits month after month. I have cut all expenses to the bone – eating only once per day, scraping to pay rent.

I still have the cheapest overhead in Kelowna. I rent a two-bedroom apartment, paying $570 per month. I would consider renting out a room, but my landlord insists that two people in a two-bedroom apartment is over occupancy limits because I refuse to pay an extra $200 for the second person. 

Instead of raising minimum wage, scrap the foreign worker program and the tax benefits it offers to employers. The government should invest in Canadian workers. The shortage of skilled/unskilled workers is a result of a non-competitive environment.

How do I effectively compete in such a hostile environment, where the cost of a domestic human resource is greater than that which comes from overseas? I am not against immigration; Canada was built on immigrants. What I am against is big companies that refuse to hire Canadians because the tax incentives favour hiring foreigners.  

Free education should be made generally available to all by every appropriate means.

Lanny Hoffmann

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