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Business Council of British Columbia supports province's new minimum wage policy

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

In a post yesterday, I noted that the BC Government issued a news release setting out the province's new approach to minimum wage increases: "BC indexing general minimum wage and liquor server wage to provincial Consumer Price Index".

The Business Council of British Columbia issued the following news release the same day that the government announced the new policy (March 12, 2015) expressing its support for the policy:

"The Business Council supports the government's decision today to implement a modest increase of the statutory minimum wage of $0.20 to $10.45 and to index future increases to the consumer price index as the Council has previously advocated," said Jock Finlayson, Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer, Business Council of British Columbia. 

"This brings British Columbia's minimum wage policy in line with most other jurisdictions in Canada and provides a fair and predictable approach to future increases that businesses can plan around. 

"Small incremental increases in the statutory minimum wage, such as what has been announced today, are unlikely to cause many employers in low-wage sectors to shed labour. Larger increases, such as those seen after long periods without increases to minimum wage, carry a greater risk of labour displacement, rate shock and consequences that impact younger and less experienced workers vying for entry-level jobs. 

"A reasonable minimum wage makes it economically worthwhile for people to be employed.  This change will impact the roughly 6.0% of workers who are currently earning the minimum wage, 40% of whom are aged 15-19 years old. 

"Today's announcement allows minimum wage employees' earnings to keep pace with economic growth, while providing a predictable tool for those businesses, particularly small businesses and labour intensive services sectors, to manage labour costs."

The Business Council of British Columbia, now in its 49th year as the premier business organization in British Columbia, is a non-partisan association made up of 260 leading companies, post-secondary institutions and organizations from across BC's diverse economy, which collectively support hundreds of thousands of jobs across the province. The Council provides timely and exceptional public-policy research and advice on issues to enhance BC's competiveness and prosperity