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BC premier defends minimum wage increase

Horgan defends wage hike

B.C. Premier John Horgan defends his government's decision to go ahead with a 5.4% hike to the minimum wage, and a 9.8% hike for liquor servers despite pushback from business owners who say the increase could make reopening and surviving more difficult as COVID-19 ravages balance sheets.

"I have heard from some businesses that they are concerned about the increase, but I’ve also heard from businesses that they have a host of other challenges, and we’ve been focusing on those, whether it be the cost of rent, whether they be concerned about being evicted from their premises while they are doing their business, and a range of other issues," Horgan said Wednesday.

"I understand that for some the minimum wage is a challenge, but I know that for many who are paid the least in the province, this is a welcome pay increase at a time when they desperately need it."

B.C.'s minimum wage rose to $14.60 per hour, up from $13.85 per hour, with liquor servers seeing their minimum wage rise to $13.95 per hour, up from $12.70. That puts B.C.'s minimum wage the second highest in the country, after Alberta, where the minimum wage is $15.

B.C.'s labour movement has long wanted B.C.'s minimum wage to be at least $15 per hour, and the province is set to achieve that threshold next June 1, when the minimum wage will rise to $15.20 per hour.



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