Surrey MLA Harry Bains says higher minimum wage is better for economy

Surrey Board of Trade says it’s too much, too quick

Surrey MLA and Minister of Labour Harry Bains says putting more money in workers’ pockets means “more money to spend and support our local economy.”

“It’s good for everyone in our province,” the Surrey-Newton NDP MLA said, speaking to his government’s plan to increase the minimum wage, by increments, to $15.20 an hour in 2021.

Harry Bains, minister of labour

“Hard work deserves fair reward,” Bains said. “People should not have to work two or three jobs to make ends meet, or rely on food banks to feed their families. Right now, 400,000 people in our province are struggling to get by, while getting paid less than $15 an hour. This has left too many people just one step away from homelessness, despite working hard for a living. That’s unfair, and its bad for our communities.”

The provincial government is acting on the Fair Wages Commission’s recommendations to increase the minimum wage by $1.30 to $12.65 per hour by June 1, to $13.85 by June 1, 2019, to $14.60 by June 1, 2020 and to $15.20 by June 1, 2021. The current minimum wage is $11.35 an hour. More than 20 per cent of all workers in B.C. earn less than $15 an hour.

While the increases are good news for those earning minimum wage, the Surrey Board of Trade says it’s too much, too quick.

Anita Huberman, Surrey Board of Trade

“When I presented our position to the provincially appointed minimum wage commission, the Surrey Board of Trade asked for two items,” said Anita Huberman, CEO of the board. “A five year implementation, to give our small businesses time to adjust to increases, and, for all future increases to be indexed to the Consumer Price Index to ensure stability and certainty.

“Our small businesses, especially those in the service sector, are vulnerable to increasing costs from various sources,” Huberman said. “I am especially concerned that this may be the straw that breaks some of them. The cost of living is a major concern for our members as employees need to be able to thrive in the community. However, too big a jump may possibly lose some of them their jobs as employers try to balance their books as a result of these jumps. I hope that other strategies of offsetting cost of living expenses will be implemented.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram  and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

Record turnout for Five Corners concert in White Rock

Abba/Elton John/Billy Joel salute attracts an estimated 4,500 people

Man facing seven charges after alleged threats at Surrey restaurant

Surrey RCMP say incident at Whalley business was ‘very traumatic’ for customers and employees

Witchazel rocks again with CD of ‘Lost Tapes’ from band’s ’80s glory days

Surrey bar a stage for ‘Cancer Killer Rock Party’ on Aug. 30

Delta police secure 94 charges in dial-a-dope bust

Seven people with ties to the Red Scorpion gang are facing drug and firearm charges

UPDATE: Surrey RCMP say missing 66-year-old man found safe

Verne Raynard was last seen at 12:45 a.m. on Aug. 12 in the 10500-block of 125B Street

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Hot, dry conditions forces drought rating to highest level on Vancouver Island

The province says Vancouver Island is under Stage 4 drought conditions

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Get involved in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Environmental organization develops app to help with the nationwide count

Pesticides linked to bee deaths will be phased out in Canada, sources say

Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike

Most Read

l -->