Thursday, March 17, 2011

Increasing the B.C. Minimum Wage - and twisting that knife which protrudes from the belly of the Provincial NDP

The B.C. Minimum Wage goes up on May 1st. Thank gawd! Why has it taken so long for the controllers to face up to the new economic realty? We (or is it they?) have created an urban living-lifestyle mix in the Lower Mainland that only the rich can afford. The despair of those struggling to keep up has scarcely been alleviated by piecemeal subsidies for our working poor which are an insult rather than a hand up. Working families don't want charity. They want an equal chance to make it in this society. If government doesn't start incorporating measures to support our kids, province wide, the young are DEAD! Too much of our attention is focused on attracting the easy money - the offshore mega-dollars looking for a place to park.

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

No comments: