On Wednesday (April 5), the provincial government announced minimum wage will increase 6.9 percent – from $15.65 to $16.75 – on June 1.
The increase is the same amount inflation has gone up in the last year.
Some workers met the announcement with arms wide open, but Quynlan Young, the CEO of the Prince George Chamber of Commerce, was “extremely disappointed” by the news.
“The increase will make it hard for some businesses to manage their operations,” she explained, “honestly, it is a disincentive to invest in BC, particularly Northern BC.”
She said BC is already an expensive place to run a business, and northern businesses often have higher costs than those down south.
“Five years of minimum wage increases, mandatory paid sick leave, and the additional stat holiday are just recent examples of government decisions that have added cost to businesses in BC,” she said. “It continues to add costs onto the backs of the businesses with little regard for their health and long-term viability.”
Young said she does not think the decision drives sustainability and prosperity, but instead makes further action from the government to help grow communities more urgent.
She added the under two-months notice is not fair for businesses to adjust to the financial changes an increase like this causes behind the scenes.