Minimum wage reaction appalling

I am always appalled to hear negative business reaction to proposals to increases the BC minimum wage.

I am always appalled to hear negative business reaction to proposals to increases the BC minimum wage.

I was equally amazed at the vituperative nature of the dissension when it finally happened for the first time in a decade.

At $8 an hour, BC has had the lowest minimum wage in Canada for years – to go along with one of the highest costs of living in the country.

Despite repeated pleas, former premier Gordon Campbell doggedly denied any change – indeed, he made things worse by introducing an opportunity for employers to pay a $6 an hour “training wage”.

Now, newly appointed premier Christy Clark, in one of her first actions, has taken the bull by the horns and announced a raise in the minimum wage in three steps to $10.25 by  May, 2012.

No doubt big-time minimum wage employers felt the change was even more advantageous than they ever imagined it would be when BC finally bit the bullet.

After all, Ontario is already at $10.25 and that seems likely to increase by the time minimum wage earners in B.C. feel any  fattening in their pay envelopes.

I didn’t  find the announcement excessively generous, and I do not subscribe to the doom-and-gloom forecasts by “leaders in the business world” that the move will hurt the people it is designed to help.

Already, in weeks, the price of a single litre of gasoline has increased by about half of the value of the first hourly instalment of the increase, 75 cents an hour.

And that’s still not due to happen for another two months. Not to mention the HST.

Each time I think of BC politicians voting en masse to increase their own remuneration and see the 2007 numbers like $98,000 as a base salary for backbenchers, plus all kinds of additional non-taxable expenses, I find this foot-dragging even more grating.

The premier’s wage rose 54 per cent to $186,200, presumably what Christy Clark earns. We were expected to recognize that the 29 per cent increase in 2007 reflected that fact that MLA salaries have not changed for 10 years.

Not to mention the need to attract the “best people” as MLAs. Good luck with that!

The inaction for 10 years on minimum wages remains a shameful but deliberate oversight for the provincial Liberals.

Long term caucus and backbench consensus support for this policy was truly a disgrace. Coupled with significant increases in the costs of post-secondary education, the government over the past decade contributed in a heartless manner to prevent many low-income families in the province accessing a better education for far too many young people.

Meanwhile, it is well known that the Canadian Taxpayers Federation has been a sharp thorn in the side of various governments in recent years.

One of activities is the operation of a National Debt Clock. The Federation has been touring the National Debt Clock around the country for some time, to help promote awareness of each individual Canadian’s sky-rocketing share of the National Debt.

The clock whizzes along at a great rate – when I looked at it last, as I write, the total was rapidly approaching $564 billion, more than $16,500 per Canadian man, woman and child.

So, in spite of a parliamentary refusal of permission, the Clock showed up on the Hill last week just as it hit a new high – on Friday, March 18 it topped $562.9 billion, effectively wiping out all national debt repayments since 1997.

Heritage Canada’s committee on Parliament Hill use, an all party group, had nixed the Fed’s request to take the clock on to Parliament Hill.

They did it anyway. in time to allow visitors to see the historic number tick

into place.

Heritage Canada’s response: “The Interdepartmental Committee on the Use of Parliament Hill is responsible for the preservation of the beauty, dignity and national character of Parliament Hill, which is a National Historic Site.

“Individuals and groups are welcome to use Parliament Hill to make their views known. However, this must be done within the framework of the rules established not only to preserve and protect this national institution, but also to protect the people who visit and use the site.

“The Committee has reviewed your request for permission to bring a large clock (considered a prop), as well as a generator, onto the Hill. Unfortunately, neither of these items are permitted on the Hill precinct. As such, your request has not been approved.”


We can read into the letter that politicians believe it’s not in the best interests of Canadians to know, at the source of the spending, how much money our children will owe in their future.



Just Posted

Student rangers sought for Terrace

Young adults interested in student ranger program have until Feb. 24 to apply

Skeena Sawmills audit good overall, but fault found in tree planting

Violation only issue discovered in Forest Practices Board report

DoK delays third reading of TSW land rezoning

Decision on hold until another public hearing is held

Is Terrace prepared for a rail disaster?

Council asked to review surge in dangerous goods movement: “I live in the blast zone,” says resident

Woman killed in head-on crash near Vanderhoof

RCMP say driver crossed the centre line and hit a loaded fuel tanker truck

Self serve doggy-wash poised to change dog grooming industry

Add money, start spraying to wash dog in the K9000

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Burnaby byelection turmoil sparks debate about identity issues in politics

The Liberals still have not said whether they plan to replace Wang, who stepped aside Wednesday

B.C. woman planned to donate a kidney to her husband, then found out she has cancer

Richard Stuart needs a kidney, his wife Tracy has been diagnosed with cancer

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered B.C. girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

UPDATE: Injured firefighter in stable condition

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Most Read