Two in three B.C.ers support raising the minimum wage to $15

Plus, Campbell River and Parksville lose their newspapers and the end of TFWs has ramifications in B.C.

Wage hike

Two-thirds of British Columbians support increasing the minimum wage to $15, according to a poll commissioned by the B.C. Federation of Labour. While B.C.’s minimum wage is set to go up by 2 per cent or 20 cents in September, the new president of the BC Fed, Irene Lanzinger, is calling for it to be hiked “to make sure people who work full-time in B.C. are above the poverty line.” And according to the BC Fed’s poll, British Columbians agree. Three quarters of respondents thought that the most recent increase was “inadequate,” while 62 per cent agreed that a $15 mininum is acceptable given current economic conditions. Six per cent of B.C.’s workforce, or around 100,000 people, earn the minimum wage according to the B.C. Fed. 

One of the province’s most popular immigration programs will be idled until July 1 thanks to an overload of applications as a result of the federal government’s axing of the temporary foreign worker program. According to the province’s jobs minister, Shirley Bond, the provincial nominee program—which allows immigrant entrepreneurs and skilled workers and their families to move to B.C.—will be shuttered due to a backlog of 5,500 applications. Since 2001, the province has attracted 26,000 immigrants to B.C. via the program.

Paper closures
Two community newspapers, the Oceanside Star in Parksville and the Courier-Islander in Campbell River, printed their final issues last week. Around 20 staff at both papers, and other Black Press properties on the Island, will be laid off as a result of the restructuring. As J-Source notes, the Times Colonist of Victoria is now the only newspaper on Vancouver Island not owned by David Black’s media company.