Minimum wage is now sitting at $12.65 an hour, and the Active Support Against Poverty Society in Prince George is reacting positively to the change.
However, a study from the Fraser Institute states the NDP governments plan to raise wages to $15 isn’t an effective way to alleviate poverty.
In 2015, 84.3 per cent of workers earning minimum wage in B.C. didn’t live in a low-income family. In 2017, 55.7 per cent of all minimum wage earners were under the age of 25 and a majority of them lived with a parent or relative.
Audrey Schwartz, Executive Director of the Society, didn’t speak specifically about the study, but says in PG there are many low wage earners who are the sole providers for families.
“There are minimum wage earners in our community who are adults and attempting to seek out a living on their own.”
The wage increase is a step in the right direction, but other areas need addressing too, added Schwartz.
“We would like to see welfare rates and child care issues being addressed.”
“We certainly see people who are working in our shelter becasue they aren’t able to find affordable excessive housing that they can secure.”
The government plans to release a “What We Heard” report this month, but the Poverty Reduction Strategy won’t come out until fall this year.