MLA for Chilliwack John Martin Photography by John Lehmann

CHILLIWACK (August 18, 2017) –BC Liberal MLA John Martin says there is confusion around what the BC NDP plan to do next regarding minimum wage increases and that it’s causing needless anxiety for small businesses.

“Our previous government had already announced a 50 cent increase to minimum wage, this isn’t new news” said Martin. “Harry Bains then makes a vague reference to government ‘renewing its commitment to a ‘fair wages commission.’ What does that even mean? Instead of taking credit for something he didn’t do, the minister should be telling people what the implementation plan is. In the government’s news release, there is no mention of when they will actually reach $15 an hour.”

Adding to the confusion are comments from the BC NDP’s junior partner, Andrew Weaver, who told CBC Radio this week that a $15 minimum wage will happen sooner than 2021. “The reality is, the terms of reference for the Fair Wage Commission will be very clear. It will not include 2021, that we are sure of. And so I just think the minister misspoke,” said Weaver.

Small businesses need predictably to plan for increases and if the BC NDP are actually planning to drive up costs even faster they need to be honest about it.

“The Fair Wage Commission and the 2021 promise look like another NDP charade,” said Martin. “That’s probably why Minister Bains didn’t mention it in his news release – he knows that small business are going to get the short end of the stick and tried to pull a fast one. What’s the point of the commission when we know full well the NDP and partner Weaver are plunging ahead to $15 anyways and already changing the rules. B.C. small businesses deserve better, as they are the backbone of our economy.”

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