Today, Premier Christy Clark announced her government would increase the minimum wage in three stages to $10.25 by May 1, 2012. Ms. Clark promised such an increase during the provincial Liberal leadership race. But, in the January/February edition of the British Columbia Restaurant and Food Services Association's magazine, she also "committed to consult with the BCRFA and restaurant owners about how best to implement the wage increases." So did that consultation process happen?
Well, a spokesperson for the premier's office said government did speak with those parties about the hike as part of a discussion regarding employment standards that was announced back November. Indeed, Ms. Clark's leadership campaign platform included a commitment to complete those discussions.
But, in an email to members sent just after 3:00 and obtained by Public Eye, association president Ian Tostenson also wrote he became aware of the increase "2 hours ago and tried to convince them to enact a new training wage of 8 dollars and forego one of the increases. It did not happen. Am meeting with government tomorrow and I will update further."
The following is a complete copy of Mr. Tostenson's email.
From: ian tostenson
Sent: March-16-11 3:03 PM
Subject: government annoucement
The government has just announced a change in min wage. We will be putting out a press release that says we are not surprised that they moved it (leadership platform) but we are deeply concerned as to the magnitude and timing. This will be a 30% increase in 14 months. We became aware of this 2 hours ago and tried to convince them to enact a new training wage of 8 dollars and forego one of the increases. It did not happen. Am meeting with government tomorrow and I will update further......ian