EDITORIAL: More money, in due time

And we’re off and running.

The provincial NDP government began making good on some of its campaign promises — and those of its Green Party coalition partner — this week, announcing both a ban on B.C.’s grizzly bear trophy hunt and a hike in the provincial minimum wage.

The ban of the trophy hunt, a particular point of emphasis for the Greens in the recent provincial election, was met with cheers from groups ranging from the Wilderness Committee to the B.C. SPCA.

The minimum wage hike, however, has drawn a prompt and vigorous response from both proponents and critics, including what may be the first publicly visible chink in the NDP-Green Confidence and Supply Agreement.

The NDP announced Tuesday a 50-cent an hour hike in B.C.’s minimum wage, to $11.35/hr, starting Sept. 15. It also announced the formation of a Fair Wages Commission to work toward a $15/hr minimum wage in the province by 2021.

B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver released a statement the following day applauding the moving forward of one of the parties’ agreements. But he complained the NDP’s arbitrary setting of a 2021 deadline will tie the new commission’s hands, while it should work at arms-length from the government.

Weaver’s statement did not specifically call for a quicker jump to $15, but did cite “skyrocketing costs of living and increased income insecurity” for British Columbians in a changing economy.

Keeping the commission at arms-length from the government is a fine idea. But so is the concept of easing in the minimum wage increase in increments.

We recognize workers at the lower end of the income spectrum are struggling, and in many cases have not kept up with gains made in the larger economy or the increased cost of living — we’re looking at you, BC Hydro and ICBC.

But disrupting local small businesses or forcing a sudden jump in retail prices will benefit neither employers nor the labour force.

In the Parksville Qualicum Beach tourism sector, finding and retaining workers is currently a bigger challenge than paying them.

There will be ripple effects with a minimum wage increase. Will workers already making more than $10.85 receive a corresponding lift? Will costs at the counter or the drive-up window rise overnight?

Let’s give business owners the appropriate time to adjust to the new reality while doing the right thing for B.C.’s workers. — Parksville Qualicum Beach News

Just Posted

Qualicum Beach to use RDN services for trash collection

Council says outsourcing waste pickup will be more efficient

Parksville’s Corfield Street to be partially closed March 28

Northbound lane to close for sewer main installation from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Pair arrested after ramming stolen vehicle into police car in Qualicum Beach

Suspects remain in custody on multiple charges pending court appearance

Flood risk assessment funding granted to RDN and QB

Federal government pitches in $70,000 while province to fund $80,000

Qualicum Beach rejects elimination of strata age restrictions

Councillors raised issue of town’s lack of housing strategy

Response mixed to Parksville homeless housing project

BC Housing staff answer questions during open house

SurvivorPQB supports local charity

Readers vote for the favourites and are eligible to win $250 in groceries

BCHL Today: Prince George avoids elimination with game five win

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Suspect arrested and charged for assault on autistic man

Parmvir Chahil has strong B.C. ties; two others charged with accessory after the fact

Uber self-driving crash video calls safety, rules into question

Experts say footage shows that vehicle’s sensors should have spotted pedestrian, initiated braking

Capital Region gas prices at their highest since 2008

Filling up is cheaper north of the Malahat

Greens’ Elizabeth May, NDP’s Kennedy Stewart join B.C. anti-pipeline protest

The two politicians could be arrested for violating a court injunction

B.C. man shot by police in 2017 pleads guilty to string of offences

Kaymen Winter gets two years, opts for trial on two charges related to Salmon Arm car wash shooting

Are you going to turn off the lights for Earth Hour?

BC Hydro report says fewer people in the province are taking part, but feel it’s still important

Most Read