Douglas Weekly – March 11


The New Minimum

The provincial government recently raised the minimum wage from $16.75 to $17.40 per hour. That’s a 3.9 per cent increase, which it said is “consistent with B.C.’s average rate of inflation in 2023.” The change will take effect on July 1 this year.

Here’s how the new minimum could affect businesses, and whether it’s enough for low-income British Columbians.

“Incremental increases in costs due to government policies and other economic factors beyond the control of employers … add up to increase the burden on business,” Bruce Williams, CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, told Douglas in an email. “Some seasonal jobs and opportunities for teenagers or seniors can disappear if they stop making business sense.”

For many, though, the increase doesn’t go far enough. 

“There still remains an eight dollar discrepancy for low-wage workers to make ends meet in Victoria,” wrote Pamela Charron, executive director of Victoria-based advocacy group Workers Solidarity Network, in an email.

Research institute Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives recently told CBC the new minimum is below the living wage (the hourly amount each of two working parents with two young children need to earn to cover expenses) everywhere in B.C. Last year, the living wage in Greater Victoria was $25.40 per hour.

Minimum wage increases are just one of dozens of tools the province can use to make the lives of low-income individuals and families easier. The province’s new budget, which it released late last month, includes millions of dollars to improve the housing supply and help people with every costs. 

Said minister of finance Katrine Conroy, “We will continue to prioritise affordability for people and families, and the services we all rely on, during this period of slow global economic growth.” 

Still, Charron said, “Our government needs to close the gap by increasing the minimum wage to a living wage.”


Passion into Profit
From gift baskets to disc golf, side hustles allow us to express ourselves and make money, too.

By Andrew Findlay

Ann Chisholm liked going to work. A business graduate from Halifax’s Mount Saint Vincent University, she started her advertising and marketing career in 2012 in Saint John, New Brunswick. Then she headed west. Her first stop was the mountain adventure paradise of Jasper. Eventually Chisholm landed in Victoria working full time at Hot House Marketing.

“I enjoyed what I was doing and the people I was working with. But it felt like there were two Anns, the working Ann and the non-working Ann,” explains Chisholm.

By the “non-working Ann” she means the athletic former varsity basketball player with a passionate interest in fitness and health.

“I asked myself, would I be fulfilled in my 30s and 40s if I kept doing what I was doing?” she says.

The answer was, probably not. 

So began Chisholm’s unintentional entrepreneurial journey.

Read the full article here or in the latest issue of Douglas.


Coming up:  


March 14: Victoria Chamber Emerge Connector

March 19-22: Indigenous Youth Leadership Training Event

March 21: Saanich Peninsula Chamber March Mixer

March 22: Victoria F*ckup Nights 

March 27: Hiring Foreign Worker Opportunities Webinar

March 28: Tech Social


April 11: Victoria Chamber Emerge Connector

April 17: Business Transformation Roadshow

April 18: Saanich Peninsula Chamber April Mixer

April 23: Advanced AI: Friend of Foe — UVic Lecture


May 7: Greater Victoria Business Awards Ceremony


June 11-13: Local Government Management Association Conference