B.C. raising minimum wage 6.9% to $16.75 per hour on June 1

A person holding a pile of Canadian money. Photo: Victor Ballesteros/Unsplash

The general minimum wage in British Columbia (B.C.) will be increased from $15.65 to $16.75 per hour starting June 1, 2023.

The 6.9% raise, which applies to various job categories including resident caretakers, live-in home-support workers, and live-in camp leaders, is expected to benefit approximately 150,000 individuals currently earning less than the new minimum wage.

Furthermore, on Jan. 1, 2024, piece rates for the hand-harvesting of 15 crops specified in the Employment Standards Regulation will also be raised by the same percentage, ensuring fair compensation for workers in the agricultural sector.

The government of B.C. has taken a consistent approach of gradually increasing the minimum wage, providing workers with certainty while ensuring predictability for businesses, it said in a press release. This year’s adjustment marks the second consecutive year that the government has tied minimum wage increases to inflation, underscoring its commitment to ensuring workers’ wages keep pace with the cost of living.

In line with this commitment, the government is actively exploring options to continue tying the minimum wage to inflation in the future, demonstrating its dedication to the financial well-being of workers across the province, it said.

Most other regions in Canada have also implemented minimum wage increases this year, except for Alberta and Nunavut. The federal government of Canada announced an increase in the minimum wage for federally regulated employees from $15.55 to $16.65 as of April 1, 2023. Additionally, at least eight other jurisdictions base their minimum wage adjustments on changes to Consumer Price Indexes.

Notably, B.C. has made significant progress in terms of minimum wage, as it used to have one of the lowest rates in the country prior to 2017. However, the province also experienced high living costs during that time, making it challenging for low-income workers to make ends meet. With the current increase, B.C. now boasts the highest minimum wage of any province in Canada, reflecting a commitment to fair pay and better living conditions for its workforce.

The rise in the minimum wage will undoubtedly provide relief to countless workers struggling with financial constraints and contribute to creating a more equitable economy in the province of British Columbia.