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September 21, 2015
In This Issue
The Public Affairs Update is your weekly insight, perspective and analysis on politics in British Columbia and Canada.  This newsletter is brought to you by the largest and most broadly-based business organization in the province, the BC Chamber of Commerce – the Voice of Business in B.C.

Minimum wage increases by 20 cents
On September 15, British Columbia’s minimum wage increased by 20 cents from $10.25 to $10.45 an hour, while the liquor server wage jumped from $9.00 to $9.20 per hour.

The increase marks the last time the provincial government says it will decide how much to raise the wage. Going forward, from 2016 onward, the minimum wage will be determined using a formula calculated upon the percentage the B.C. Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased in the previous calendar year. In years where there is a negative CPI change, the minimum wage would stay the same.

Minister of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training Hon. Shirley Bond says the latest increase hits the mark. “Raising the minimum wage allows BC to keep pace with minimum wages in the rest of Canada while maintaining our competitiveness,” she said.

B.C.’s first quarterly report forecasts Balanced Budget

Finance Minister Hon. Mike de Jong presented the Province’s first Quarterly Budget Report of
2015, forecasting balanced budgets for the next three years. Key highlights:

  • Year-end surplus for 2015-16 is projected at $277 million,
  • Revenues are up $374 million due to stronger income tax revenues and higher property transfer tax revenues reflecting a strong housing market,
  • B.C.’s real GDP is forecast to grow by 2.0% in 2015, down 0.3 percentage points from Budget 2015, followed by growth of 2.4% in 2016 and 2.3% in the medium term.