B.C. Increases Minimum Wage to $10.25

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Premier Christy Clark sure works fast as she announced today that B.C.’s minimum wage will be going up. Ultimately, by May 2012 the minimum wage will be $10.25. Expect an incremental hike of $0.75 to come this May. This will put us on par with Ontario.

Today’s minimum wage is $8/hr. The following is the phased roll out:

  • May 1st/11 – $8.75/hr
  • Nov 1st/11 – $9.50/hr
  • May 1st/12 – $10.25/hr

Now, at first glance everyone will celebrate but remember there will be consequences. For someone working in the restaurant industry this is great news. However, for the restaurateur this is not great news and expect some staff to be let go. Over the course of time most of this will correct itself.

We posed this question to twitter, “#Vancouver thoughts on the #minimumwage hike to 10.25 by May 2012?? Yay or Nay?” The response was overwhelmingly in favour. However, a few rational tweets were out as well. Here is a selection of those:

@thewhimgroup tweeted “Nay – everything else will go up”

@aottho tweeted “about time, and the right amount, gradual roll out will minimize pain on business.” but expect it to drive local prices and inflation higher, net result about same buying power for people.”

@jeremysball tweeted “as someone who used to serve, i like it. as someone who ran restaurants, this will kill the industry. expect higher costs.”

An increase was definitely due, however, the amount may be overwhelming to a lot of small businesses. We’ll see where the chips fall in this one.



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  • http://twitter.com/vincentng Vincent Ng

    I completely understand where Jeremy’s coming from. I think that it’s good because the cost of living in Vancouver is so high, so we really need the wage hike just to keep our head out of water. But at the same time the costs are still going to be passed on to the consumer. The trouble with the wage increase it didn’t happen suddenly, and now BC’ers are going to really feel it in their pockets.

  • Just Great

    Dislike just read what Jeremy said. In the end stuff like this is passed on to consumers and we are no better off. I don’t even know anyone over the age of 25 that still makes min wage and if you do, time to get another job or invest in your education!

  • Shinder

    Hipsters are probably dancing in the streets. But wait the Liberal government enacted this so they probably hate it. Oh wait Hipsters don’t work they live off their parents money. I guess they are just look those Surrey Jacks in some sense

  • Simon

    Progressive step in the right direction and long, long overdue. Good stuff.

  • Guest

    Being a broke college student who works two jobs THIS IS FANTASTIC NEWS. I have been waiting so long for this. I have always been envious of Ontario because their minimum wage is already $10.00. I mean I really hope things don’t go up in prices but seriously this will make such a difference to so many people, especially those of us who work our asses off.

  • Ignorance Police

    spoken like the ignorant

  • Successweaver

    Like anything in life you are expected to grow and rise to new levels… Minimum wage is not supposed to be the last stop, you’re supposed to take your new skills and parlay them into a higher paying position like everyone else who makes more than minimum wage. We all started out with minimum wage at one point in our life, and grew beyond it. Why must we be regulated to create a 28% inflation?

    I don’t agree with any jurisdiction having a minimum wage of more than $8.00 an hour.

    If you can’t afford to live in Vancouver move to where you can.. I once couldn’t afford to live here.. I grew up in the prairies and wanted to move here but I had to earn my way here.. I didn’t get a regulated or unionized subsidy to get here. I struggled and made my way here on my own volition.

    Life is about struggle, struggle creates growth and strength…

  • Unknown604

    should be at least $12.00-$13.00,living cost in B.C is rediculous!!!!, everythings going higher nowadays, riches getting richer while the poors getting poorer,how will this change anything,just too see a smile on our faces,i doubt it, its easy to say the rate is going higher for wages,but how bout the people that dont have jobs….how can this change when society doesnt give us a chance, jsut because they judge us by our appearanc instead of personality….things will never change trust me,

  • Successweaver

    I say this with all the respect I can muster.

    Your english grammar and mechanics are very poor, this in itself suggests that you need to work more on your education. It has nothing to do with your appearance. I don’t hire people based on their appearance, I hire them based on their abilities, social graces and their understanding of society and it’s ways; as any successful employer would do.

    Work on improving yourself and paying the price to succeed and then you will succeed.

  • anonymous

    all this is a a publicity ploy by the liberal government in the attempt to salvage the public image that gordon campbell so notoriously destroyed. if you look at the population of BC, it is a little more than 8million less than Ontario’s. in addition, although BC economic/business infrastructure is growing, it is not nearly as strong as Ontario, Alberta, or even Quebec’s. our population, economic and business infrastructure will not be able to handle this amount of wage hike. if they integrated this amount over a longer period of time, then maybe it could work. if the liberals were going to raise minimum wage by $2.25, why not eliminate the HST instead?
    this increase in minimum wage, although it may look appealing to some will basically be like taking one step forward and two steps back, as prices for consumer products will rise and businesses will look to cut costs (lay-offs) to compensate for the additional wage hike. makes very little economic sense, and just seems like this is territory for the NDP to dabble in.

  • 604anonymous778

    think about it this way:
    minimum wage rises $2.25.
    As a student and minimum or close to minimum wage earner, what products are you most likely to consume? food, booze, clothing, schoolbooks, going to the movie theatere, rent, electronics, etc.
    Then ask, what type of industries employ the most minimum wage earners? restaurants, gas stations/convenience stores, grocery stores, fast food establishments, retail clothing stores, bestbuy, suppliers of products to these businesses, etc.
    Then think if each of these industries raised their prices for consumer products/services by an average of $0.25-1.00.
    ….do the math, you will still be coming up short. do you really think these business owners are gonna stand idly by and watch their profit diminish for the greater good of the BC residents? possibly, but i’m putting my bet on, likely not.

  • Wow

    There are several errors in punctuation and grammar in your post as well. Judge not, etc.

  • Solvet

    “If you can’t afford to live in Vancouver move to where you can.”

    You think you could survive a single minute in this city without minimum-wage earners to keep things under control? Who’s going to pump the gas in your H2, serve you soy lattes at Café Yupster or clean the floors of your gated community’s gym?

  • Seannsmithson

    being a financial analyst, i know a couple things about business. Poor people do nothing to keep the economy going, businesses do. And businesses, if you haven’t noticed, are rapidly declining. I don’t feel like writing much so i’ll stick to this, THIS IS A BAD ASS IDEA FOR COUNTRY STILL DEALING WITH A ECONOMIC DEPRESSION. What do those high school kids need the money for anyways?

  • http://www.facebook.com/dwlonline David W Lemley

    Having a $10.25 minimum wage is a good start. However, what we need is a living wage and actual rent caps.

  • Guest

    He was pretty diplomatic. Unkown604’s post is pretty ignorant. A 13 dollar minimum wage is, to put it bluntly, stupid. If you can’t type properly, you can’t write a resume, and you can’t get a job. Unknown does make a good point though, this isn’t going to help people like him get jobs, the govt should invest the money in educating people on how to actually get these minimum wage jobs.

  • http://www.vancouvercorporatelawyers.ca Malcolm

    The reality is that the money will re-circulate into the economy, notwithstanding the harm that will be done to certain industries who are already struggling with our high labour costs (relative to other global marketplaces).


  • Toby S

    To address a couple common concerns I see here:

    1) BC is not an autonomous province. We import a lot of goods from other provinces and many of our larger chains (think fast food, office supplies, movie theaters, etc.) have common nation-wide pricing. Prices for all of these things are already set to pay higher minimum wages in every other province. We are only disadvantaged here in that our minimum wage workers did not have enough to afford these things in the first place. Prices will change far less than some people are expecting.

    2) If there are a few small businesses that run with a business plan that relies on under-paying workers and have not figured out how to handle the inevitable increase to minimum wage, then, yes, these businesses will crumble and they will have no one to blame but themselves. Their underpaid workers will get to move on and find a new job making a reasonable amount of money for a company that might actually value their contribution.

    3) “as someone who ran restaurants, this will kill the industry” You said that about HST too. The line is getting old…

  • tt1988

    I know several workers in those positions you mentioned and none of them are getting paid minimum wage. 😛

    I’m 22. My friends ages range from 20-30. I can’t recall a single one of them off the top of my head that is recieving minimum wage. I have not been paid minimum wage since I graduated highschool. I’ve done retail, customer service, serving, labour, and now run a small business. I’ve played the struggling student, the full-time retail worker, and have, with a little education, effort, and brains, established myself a good career that pays much, much more than 8.00 or even 10.25. My point? That it’s not difficult to get an above-minimum wage if you are just committed to your goals.

    I agree, at least based on personal observation, with the person who mentioned earlier that the workers getting minimum wage or mainly those who do not need it: high-school students, part-time workers. Those who are actually working hard to support themselves are already making more than 8.00 an hour, and this hike is only dumping more coin into teenagers’ pockets so they can buy the newest Ipad/pod/box/sphere and the coolest new business-targetted smartphone to text/tweet/skype their friends with because lord knows they have no need for data-syncing, documents on the go, video conferencing, schedule books, and the like.

    Perhaps they should have collected (or released, if it has already been done) some recent statistics/survey data on wages of individuals who actually have bills to pay first, to support the wage increase? It would be an easier pill to swallow if there were some numbers to look at….

  • DoYourHomework

    Business is rapidly declining? Your business knowledge is very weak at best. Canada was one of the first country’s out of the recession. You should know this, since you’re a financial analyst, Canada is posting gains, modest ones, on its GDP. Do you homework kid.

    The fact is this is good for business. The reality is less turnovers for business which cost more than what the minimum wage is increasing by.

  • Lazy

    LAZY! I hate people like you. Get off the couch and start educating yourself. You want the Government to give you $13.00 an hour. How about this: pick a career field, educate yourself, and WORK HARD. Believe it of not but you’ll be earning triple your proposed $13.00 minimum wage.

  • Blackcat

    Listen, I work for the govt. and make an okay wage in a non-profit. We are under a wage freeze and haven’t had an increase in over a year (our increases were nominal anyway, only a few cents a year) and are not expected to get another increase for two more years. Three years at the same wage (and after deductions and taxes, I’m not taking home much). With this huge increase in min wage, there will be inflation, making it harder for the rest of us to get by. So you know what? My wages actually go down…and the HST is hitting the restaurant industry hard, and this will be another hit. Restaurants are closing all over the province. For example, Lumiere and DB, two top notch high end places, known all over the world, had to close because of poor business.

  • muleman

    Successweaver is right. Look at the baristas at JJ Bean, Main and 14th street; some have colored hair, some with rings hanging around their faces but they know customer service and very articulate.

  • 123

     Successweaver after reading your posts I totally agree from where you come from. We have to get to where we want in life with hard work not just with easy way outs like the proposed increase in minimal wage. If ever the governments proposal to increase the minimal wage happens I believe our economy will eventually downgrade. I think BC should keep the minimum wage where it’s at now and put some money towards proper education, health and social welfare. It’s a Yay for a lot of pesimistic people because they don’t realize if wages increase so do prices. Aren’t we Canadians optimistic shouldn’t we look at both sides before we agree to some drastic change like this. I’m 16 and I even know what’s best for our province and for our country.

  • guest

    i hate people like you! Maybe they don’t have the resources to go to school, maybe they can’t afford it, maybe they live on the streets. You shouldn’t be so judgmental of someone who you don’t know at all maybe they are trying hard and no one will give them a chance

  • Umpatan

    I think that minimum wage should be reduced back to $8.00 an hour as we are heading for a double dip recession.  Or a tax hike for those who live at home with their parents should be implemented since if one lives at home rent free, one lives the same as someone making $18.00 an hour living on their own.

  • Barbie

    Has anyone noticed Starbucks raised their prices .65 cents a drink pretty much recently!! It’s bound to just even out.

  • “V for Vendetta”

    Businesses that until now paid only minimum wage still need their established / return clientele AND new customers. Their staff now will earn a bit higher wage, so IN SOME CASES said staff will come to work happier, offer better service, consequently customers will be happier – they return, bring their friends, etc, etc. and business will do better… Customers don’t like to go where staff is unhappy, unfriendly, etc. Stingy, cheap employers / people sooner or later may want to learn that “you get what you pay for”. In Australia, the US, in most of “Western Europe” wages have been higher for many years, standard of living also higher (matching cost of living). Quality all around have also been higher. You pay people a proper living wage, they will be happy, treat themselves and everyone around them with “happy, kind energy”, produce quality, and not think of and look at leaving a job every day they are at work, but focus at the job at hand. 
    $10.25 for minimum wage is not the cause for alarm. High gas prices, out of control prices for third rate quality real estate, high cost of rent, drugs, alcohol, the media, the behaviour of our leadership, our government.. I could rant on… IS however a cause for questioning ourselves, our involvement and the responsibility we take choosing our government, choosing the way we live, act, behave with one another and in making changes instead of ranting like I do, then going back and hide behind our comfortable, predictable lives. On which our government count to continue treat us like braindamaged helpless idiots. It is not $10.25 that the minimum wage should be, but at least $13-15.00. If we focused our energies on giving, we would be receiving much more = everyone would benefit; “what comes around, goes around”.

  • “V for Vendetta”

    So you consider minimum wage increase a “drastic change”? Before I rant on I feel the need to point out to you, that most people in this country (and everywhere else in World I have lived)  DO WORK HARD (I’m an Employer of 23 people in the Hospitality Industry). Just because somebody is earning minimum wage doesn’t necessarily mean he/she doesn’t work hard. Instead it could mean, that the employer is simply too cheap and greedy to pay his/her staff a decent living wage. If I didn’t pay my staff properly, they would be looking for better job opportunities instead of treating my clientele well. Their mind would not be on the job, not to mention that employee theft would increase even more than where it is at now. Higher minimum wage is one of the smallest cause of “price increases”. I have two restaurants, and I feel that if I increased my menu prices everyone would lose out. Not to mention that my servers and kitchen staff earn $13+/hr, plus benefits.

  • Jo

    Don’t be so judgmental. I myself don’t hav a great grammar as English is not my first language, yet I earn $30 an hour. It’s all about skills and talent. I have a friend who did not finish high school because his lone parent — his mother– is disabled. So he needed to quit school and earn min wage. Don’t judge before you walk on other people’s shoes.