“I think it’s pathetic and really shameful”
Those are the thoughts of BC Federation of Labour President, Irene Lanzinger after B.C.’s minimum wage was ranked the lowest in the country at $10.45 an hour.
Lanzinger says it blows her mind that one of the largest provinces in all of Canada is so far behind on the issue. “We have the most expensive province in the country and the lowest minimum wage. A worker in this province even if work full-time on that salary is still $6000 below the poverty line.”
Lanzinger is one of many in the province pushing for employers to pay out $15 bucks an hour. However even if it bumped up to that figure it still would not be living wage material. “$15.00 is not a living wage anywhere in the province. In Vancouver, the living wage is $21 with other cities between 17 and 19 bucks”
Alberta is expected to have a $15.00 minimum wage by 2018 while Ontario will increase theirs to $11.40 by October.
Locations in the United States including Seattle and California are making plans to bump up the bare minimum to $15 per hour with New York looking to following suit for its fast food workers.
27% of all workers in B.C. are earning less than $15 per hour.