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Fair Wages Commission to present report on wage increase

VICTORIA, B.C.- British Columbia’s $11.35 an hour minimum wage is one of the lowest in the country.

Plans are still in place to boost that to $15 per hour in the future.

Early in the new year, the provincial government is set to receive a report from the Fair Wages Commission on how B.C. should transition to that minimum wage increase.

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Ontario is moving its minimum wage to $14 an hour on January 1st, 2018. That will then jump to $15 an hour on January 1st, 2019.

Their government is promising help for small business and farmers in the transition.

British Columbia’s Minister of Agriculture, Lana Popham, said the needs of agriculture are being considered by the Fair Wage Commission.

“We do have representatives from the agriculture community that are making presentations and so, that will be taken into account,” she said.

“When it comes to raising the minimum wage, the agriculture community is being consulted because, it does operate differently, and we want to make sure that we reflect what’s going on on the ground.”

Popham noted that many producers pay employees a piece rate.

The B.C. government said that there were 93,800 people who earned minimum wage in 2016. 54 per cent of those individuals were youths between the ages of 15 and 24.

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