NDP MLA lauds New Westminster living wage “more than twice” B.C. minimum wage

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      New Westminster’s “living wage” for city workers is double the minimum wage in British Columbia.

      Dawn Black, the NDP MLA for New Westminster, made this observation in the legislature today (May 18).

      On April 26, New Westminster council passed a resolution to set up a living-wage policy for city workers—a first in Canada.

      “For New Westminster that works out to $16.74 an hour,” Black said, according to the draft transcript in Hansard. “This is more than twice the amount of B.C.’s minimum wage of $8 an hour, now the lowest in Canada.”

      Black noted, “The council unanimously passed a resolution that commits the city to establishing a living wage policy that is tied to an hourly rate, which will be set each year.”

      The policy will apply to both full-time and part-time employees working on city premises or properties, according to Black.

      NDP leader Carole James has lobbied to have the B.C. Liberal government raise the minimum wage to $10.

      In 2007, James introduced the Minimum Wage Fairness Act, but the bill was ruled out of order.



      Minimum wage hurts poor people

      May 18, 2010 at 10:22pm

      All that a minimum wage law does is prevent people from obtaining jobs that don't have them. No poor person is 'forced to work' a minimum wage job, and there can't be exploitation: employment is a voluntary contract!

      This is how the job market should work. If someone can't find a job, they should be able to increase their employment potential by offering their services for a lower price. Eventually this will be of mutual benefit for an employer and the person gets hired. If the pay is too low, no one would work the job and the employer would be out of luck.

      By passing a law that FORCES pay to be high, you don't magically create new high-paying jobs. All you do is limit the opportunities for the poorest people to find work, and for business owners to employ them.

      There's no clearer evidence than this that the NDP feeds off the poverty cycle to build a voting base. Carole James should be ruled out of order. Period.


      May 18, 2010 at 11:44pm

      that will be coming out of my pocket!

      Michael Enders

      May 18, 2010 at 11:58pm

      Facebook has a group dedicated to Raising the Minimum Wage in BC to 10 dollars per hour. Thanks to Carole James for lobbying this much needed raise! http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/group.php?gid=58283104053

      Any questions I am the creator / Administrator of the group and have many stories of hard working British Columbians struggling because of the minimum wage crisis. Thank you.

      Left can't do math...

      May 20, 2010 at 9:14am

      $16.74 an hour to support a family equals two parents making $8.37 an hour. Most single people make FAR more than that and very few two-parent families have only one income these days.

      This is an attempt by a special interest group to go for a massive tax grab from municipalities.


      May 20, 2010 at 12:34pm

      Mr Enders should not try to garner support for the NDP simply because Carole James allegedly engaged in some 'lobbying' in support of the measure. The current NDP opposition is the most ineffectual opposition the province has ever seen, and has been almost nowhere as the current government engaged in their vicious 10 year campaign against poor, not just on income assistance, but also the working poor. In fact, the NDP has been complicit in that James and her crew of incompetents have consistently refused to raise issues of the poor and low income workers in the Legislature, and avoid any mention of these issues during elections. But the NDP pretends to be the 'friend' of the poor to exploit their votes. The joker above re: 'can't do math' is wrong, there is NO left in B.C., just a bunch of conservatives called 'Liberals' and a bunch of spineless middle of the road liberals called the 'N.D.P.'. James and Farnsworth and the rest would right at home in the Liberal party. In fact, other than the conservative business unions in this province, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the N.D.P.'s main funder is the Liberals, only a party like the N.D.P could allow the Liberals to continue to get away with the stuff they get away with.