B.C.’s minimum wage increases to $15.65 per hour on June 1, a 45-cent increase based on last year’s relatively modest inflation rate that gives the province the highest minimum wage of any Canadian province.
The latest increase also includes to live-in camp leaders and live-in home support workers, as well as the minimum monthly wage of resident caretakers. A year ago, the NDP government extended the full minimum wage to liquor servers, who were paid a lower wage under the previous government’s system because of their income from tips.
Small business and agriculture employers have warned about the side effects of a steep increase in B.C.’s minimum wage, which took place during a long period of low inflation that has since soared above six per cent in Canada. The latest increase comes as employers emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic are experiencing staff shortages, particularly in service industry jobs, as gasoline, groceries and other staples rise steeply in price.
B.C.’s minimum wage stood at $10.25 until 2014, when former premier Christy Clark raised it to $10.45 and implemented the $1.50 discount for liquor servers.
The current rate of $15.65 is the highest among provinces, with Alberta and Ontario at $15, Quebec at $14.25 and Saskatchewan and Manitoba at just below $12. Only Yukon at $15.70 and Nunavut at $16 have a higher minimum hourly wage.