B.C. gets a new minimum wage, tied to inflation

A new minimum wage, plus a better year ahead for B.C.

The new minimum
There’s a new minimum wage coming to B.C., but not everyone’s happy about it. Starting this September, the provincial minimum wage will increase on a yearly basis in line with the B.C. Consumer Price Index (but, it should be noted, will never decrease). For 2015, this means an increase to $10.45 an hour from $10.25, said Jobs Minister Shirley Bond, who made the announcement Thursday. But for B.C. Federation of Labour president Irene Lanzinger, the 20-cent increase is “pathetic”—and a far cry from the $15 the federation believes reflects the real minimum cost of living in B.C. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives similarly used a Statistics Canada metric to show that the new minimum falls short of livability in urban areas like Vancouver and Victoria. On the other hand, the BC Chamber, representing the province’s chambers of commerce, is a fan of the inflation-adjusted approach and sent out a press release calling the announcement “a responsible move, with the degree of certainty that businesses appreciate.”

What’s bad for Alberta…
B.C.’s economy will have its best year since 2010, says RBC. The bank, which released its RBC Economics Provincial Outlook on Thursday, cited a strengthed export industry as one of the reasons, resulting from increased interest in the U.S. thanks to Canada’s weakened loonie. As a result, RBC anticipates a 3.1 per cent increase to B.C.’s GDP in 2015, second only to Ontario’s 3.3 per cent gain. Alberta, perhaps unsurprisingly, is expected to see the smallest increase. You can view the report here.

Inside information
An IT manager at MacDonald Dettwiler & Associates Inc. (MDA) is in hot water after the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) accused Satish Talawdekar of insider trading. According to the OSC, Talawdekar used a personal line of credit to buy shares in the Richmond-based company after he learned of an impending acquisition in 2012, which, upon being announced, resulted in a 28 per cent jump in MDA’s stock price, netting Talawdekar a healthy profit of $11,673. (via the Globe and Mail)