The B.C. NDP government has named three officials from the academic, industry and labour sectors to form a panel that will advise the province on how to institute a $15-an-hour minimum wage.
The Fair Wages Commission will consist of economist and Simon Fraser University professor emeritus Marjorie Griffin Cohen, Business Council of B.C. vice-president Ken Peacock and United Food and Commercial Workers Union president Ivan Limpright. (Peacock is a regular contributor to Business in Vancouver).
The commission, named by B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains and chaired by Cohen, will begin its work immediately and report to the provincial government on a set of recommendations within 90 days of its first meeting. The panel has an operational budget of $490,000 over two years.
Bains added that the panel will discuss the minimum wage-living wage discrepancy, which varies from region to region within B.C.
The NDP had promised to raise the provincial minimum wage to $15 by 2021, but has since favoured the BC Green Party’s proposal to seek the input of an independent advisory group. On September 15, B.C. boosted its minimum wage to $11.35 – third highest among Canadian provinces, behind Ontario and Alberta.