Minister of Labour Harry Bains issued the following statement on Friday:
"Beginning today, B.C.'s lowest-paid workers will see an increase to their hourly wage by 50 cents, bringing their wage up to $11.35 an hour and up to $10.10 for those who serve liquor. Increasing the minimum wage is one way our government will help make life more affordable for hard-working British Columbians.
"Today's increase to the minimum wage is significant as it now gives B.C. the third-highest minimum wage among Canada's provinces - up from seventh position.
"In the coming weeks, we will announce details of the fair wages commission. This commission, through consultation and research, will provide recommendations on how to get B.C. to a $15-an-hour minimum wage with regular, measured and predictable increases that businesses can absorb. The commission will submit its first report within 90 days of its first meeting.
"We've listened to business owners, who have told us gradual, predictable increases are the best way to minimize the impact on their businesses. And, they recognize that the move to a $15-an-hour minimum wage is good for employee satisfaction and retention, benefits that are good for B.C. businesses, and good for our economy.
"When you give British Columbia's lowest-paid workers an increase in wages, every extra dollar received is invested back into their communities, in their local businesses, to pay for life's essentials. This government is committed to making life more affordable for people."