Dozens of people rallied outside Canada Place late this afternoon shutting down traffic to demand an increase to the minimum wage.
The protest, organized by the BC Federation of Labour, is part of a national day of action called “Fight for 15.”
Rally-goers in Vancouver urge the province to boost the minimum wage from the current 10.45 to 15 dollars/ hour.
Canadian Federation of Independent Business spokesperson Richard Truscott says it would have an enormous impact on small business.
“The people who are advocating for $15 dollars, their hearts may be in the right place, but they really ought to give their heads a shake. The small businesses that would be impacted by that big jump in the minimum wage would have to make adjustments somehow, perhaps limit the number of hours for existing employees, and perhaps not do a bit of extra hiring.”
“If it’s small, modest, predictable increases in the minimum wage, that is something that most business owners can adapt to and can maintain current operations. But if you’re increasing the minimum wage too far too fast it will have an impact inside the business including possibility eliminating jobs.”
But those attending the “Fight for 15” rally say they don’t buy it.
“I don’t agree, I think it would be good for business and good for everybody all around.”
“Time after time people have said that and it actually has never happened.”
“The more money you make the more you spend, and the more you keep it in your community.”
“I don’t think you can live in Vancouver or the Lower Mainland earning less than $15 dollars.”
“I think everyone deserves a decent wage.”
“We have two daughters that had to live off of the minimum wage with little kids and it was hard, they finally had to move back home with us.”
— Shelby Thom (@ShelbyThom980) April 16, 2016
The province has announced plans to increase the rate to $10.75 in September.