BC residents still waiting for a potential 2023 minimum wage hike

Mar 22 2023, 5:00 pm

Things won’t be getting cheaper in BC this year, and with the cost of living expected to rise in various ways, the province has yet to reveal details about a minimum wage hike in 2023.

BC increased the minimum wage on June 1, 2022, but there is no scheduled minimum wage increase for 2023. However, last year, the June hike wasn’t announced until March.

“When our government took office, BC had one of the lowest minimum wages in the country, and it had been frozen for years by successive Liberal governments,” said BC Minister of Labour Harry Bains in a statement to Daily Hive.

“After surpassing the goal of $15/hour in 2021, we committed to tie future increases to the rate of inflation. We are reviewing our options and the decision will be coming shortly.”

The consumer price index rose by 6.9% in BC in 2022, so a wage increase tied to inflation could be significant.

Earlier in 2023, BC’s Ministry of Labour told Daily Hive that it’s looking at options for 2023 and future years, “including whether a formula should be laid out in legislation.”

It also pointed out that BC has the highest minimum wage of any province (not territory) in Canada.

The minimum wage has increased every year going back to 2018. In 2018, it rose to $12.65; in 2019, it went up to $13.85; $14.60 in 2020; $15.20 in 2021; $15.65 in 2022.

Rising costs of living

The cost of living in Vancouver is increasing fast.

Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Metro Vancouver is up 19% from 2022. Those who are already locked into a lease will likely get a rent increase of 2% – the maximum allowed by the Province.

As for your grocery bill, soaring food prices could inflate your budget by more than $1,000 in 2023.

There are glimmers of relief, like a rate reduction for FortisBC customers and a cost of living benefit for many British Columbians.

Still, a living wage in Metro Vancouver is $24.08 per hour, far below the current minimum wage requirements.

More to come…

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