The good news today is the minimum wage in B.C. is going up to $13.85 from $12.65.
The bad news, according to anti-poverty campaigners, is that it’s still woefully below what’s needed to afford a good life in the province.
The living wage, which is what a working couple with two children needs to earn to pay for things like housing, child care, and transportation is calculated at $19.50 per hour for 2019 for Metro Vancouver by the Living Wage for Families Campaign.
Halena Seiferling, who speaks for the campaign in B.C., says the gap amounts to tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenue for families who need it.
“There’s still a significant gap there,” she said of the difference between the minimum wage and the living wage.
Saturday’s increase for the province’s lowest paid workers is part of the provincial government’s plan to raise the current wage to just over $15 an hour by 2021.
The province says the plan will help to make life more affordable for people, while also allowing businesses to plan around how to afford the wage.
Next June, the minimum wage will rise to $14.60 an hour before going up to $15.20 on June 1, 2021.