(File photo)

On Tuesday, March 21st, the Canadian government announced it is bumping minimum wage from $15.55 to $16.65 per hour across the country as of April 1st, but only for some.

Despite how it sounds, this will change little for most BC residents.

The minimum wage top up will only apply to federal employees working in industries such as banking, postal and courier services as well as interprovincial air, rail, road and marine transportation. 

The jobs which are considered to be ‘federally regulated private sectors’ are the only ones who will prosper from this increase. 

Employment and Social Development Canada says this increase will help low income individuals combat inflation, but it will only directly benefit around 26,000 people’s jobs in the country.

The Canadian government made no mention of employees earning more than minimum wage getting an equivalent pay raise in their announcement.

BC’s last minimum wage top up came in June, 2022 when the wage was bumped from $15.20 to $15.65.

Historically, the province has topped up the minimum wage every June for the last five consecutive years, but as of this time, there is no scheduled increase for BC’s $15.65 to be bumped up. 

Victoria Buzz reached out to the provincial Ministry of Labour who handle minimum wage in BC for a comment on the recent federal top up and to ask them if the province would be increasing their benchmark minimum wage in line with the feds. 

“When our government took office, BC had one of the lowest minimum wages in the country, and it had been frozen for years by successive Liberal governments,” said Harry Bains, BC’s Minister of Labour. 

“After surpassing the goal of $15/hour in 2021, we committed to tie future increases to the rate of inflation.” 

“We are reviewing our options and the decision will be coming shortly.”