On September 6, Restaurants Canada and the Coalition of BC Businesses met with the new BC Labour Minister Harry Bains to discuss the new government’s labour agenda. Restaurants Canada thanked the Minister for proceeding with the previously announced 2017 minimum wage increases that small businesses have been preparing for and resisting pressure from organized labour for a larger unplanned 2017 minimum wage increase.
The Minister discussed the upcoming Fair Wage Commission process saying that the Commission should be in place by October and will have 90 days to consult and provide government with recommendations. The Minister said that the terms of reference for the Commission will not include the 2021 date for reaching a $15 minimum wage enabling the Commission to recommend its own timeline on when the province will reach the $15 minimum wage goal. The BC Federation of Labour is pushing for a quicker timeline to reach a $15 minimum wage.
The Minister also confirmed that he wants to make changes to the Employment Standards Act, the Labour Relations Code, and to Workers Compensation Act to modernize British Columbia’s labour laws. Members can contact Restaurants Canada’s Vice President Western Canada, Mark von Schellwitz at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details on the types of labour law changes the Minister would like to implement.
Restaurants Canada’s Vice President, Western Canada Mark von Schellwitz meets with Labour Minister Harry Bains, along with the Coalition of BC Businesses