It's about time that the people who talk for a living lose some of their power and influence over those who labour for a living. I can't help recalling my first minimum wage job in 1971, which was wiping down cars and cleaning windows in a car wash. I worked after school for $1.25 an hour. That was in the Province of New Brunswick, where the minimum is now $10 per hour. (I preserved my first T4 Slip to serve as a reminder, as I work my way through life.) Our single-parent family didn't even own a car, and there I was washing the cars of "the rich". Certainly our Canada has vastly improved since the 1970s, but there are hundreds of thousands of young workers in B.C. today, who are bloody scared for their futures. Believe it!
It's easy to detect the deep political calculation behind the Minimum Wage announcement made by Christy Clark, B.C.'s unelected Premier. The fact that she is staging it, in three incremental jumps, indicates that she wants it all - the votes of the working poor and the cash contributions of the business community.
When the story broke this morning, news readers began posting their partisan opinions, and many of them were appropriate. I decided to scrape the comments of "Cheryl in Canada" as being most representative of the lot. Long after the YAHOO News and the Vancouver SUN have deleted "Cheryl", her words will be archived here. She doesn't lie. Surveys and commissioned reports frequently do.
CHERL IN CANADA posted March 17, 2011 in YAHOO NEWS
CHERYL IN CANADA posted March 17, 2011 in the Vancouver SUN
So how high might the Minimum Wage rise, assuming Christy doesn't renege?
MAY 1, 2011 - increase to $8.75 per hour
NOV 1, 2011 - increase to $9.50 per hour
MAY 1, 2012 -increase to $10.75 per hour