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NEWS RELEASE · 3rd September 2010
Ministry of Labour
Over the past nine years, British Columbia has built an economy that has generated jobs and increased wages for workers.

Here are the facts:

* The average hourly wage for all workers in B.C. in July 2010 was $22.54 - the third-highest rate in Canada, more than 2.8 times the minimum wage. This represents a 25 per cent increase since 2001.
* Young people between the ages of 15 and 24 in B.C. earn on average $13.27 per hour - the third-highest wage in Canada and nearly 1.7 times the minimum wage.
* Only 2.3 per cent of workers are collecting minimum wage or less.
* Since December 2001, British Columbia added 416,000 jobs to the workplace. 73 per cent are full-time positions.
* B.C. has created more than 67,000 new jobs in the last year.
* British Columbia's average unemployment rate for 2009 was 7.6 per cent, lower than the national average of 8.3 per cent.
* In July 2010, B.C.'s unemployment rate was 7.5 per cent, below the national average of 8.0 per cent. *Seasonally adjusted*

* Facts on this page are cited from the July 2010 Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey.
Comment by Stacey Tyers on 4th September 2010
I can't help but ask then, if this is the case, why is it such an issue to raise minimum wage to a living wage?

If so many people are making so much money, then it should not be as detrimental as the government claims to increase our mninimum wage from the LOWEST in the country and support those lowest earning citizens.
Lies, damn lies and statistics.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 3rd September 2010
Winston Churchill is credited with coining the term “terminological inexactitude” because to say someone lied was considered unparliamentary. These day the reluctance to tell someone they are “lying their butts off” or telling a “damnable lie” results in all kinds of euphemisms to avoid plain language.

In politics the creativity is astounding. People talk about misstatements, false pretenses, factual deficiencies, distortions, a very serious inconsistency, inadequate assumptions or manipulated facts. There are now half-truths, quarter-truths and maybe even one-eight truths. The fact is that truth is 100 percent. Anything less is just another euphemism for a lie. Being “technically accurate” does not constitute the truth. The truth is not technical.

These days watching the liberal MLA’s squirm toward the pending recall initiative is quite interesting since I went through the process years ago. Now that it involves some of the same people who were behind trying to get at the NDP government through a few NDP MLA’s including myself, ie. Kevin Falcon of “Fed UP Rally” fame)I confess I find it amusing watching them squirm this time.

This exercise is different. Each one will be subject to recall for a specific action they took or did not take. They had a choice to either listen to their constituents and vote their conscience or support the deceit that led to the election and subsequently the introduction HST. But that involved telling their leader to “get stuffed” and carries with it party political repercussions. They are hoisted by one single issue and one single vote, is all that it takes to change their personal political fortunes. Pressure for a politician? It gets no better than this.

Consider some of the “terminological inexactitudes”, or lies if you prefer, regarding the HST. First, there was the argument that “It was only after the scale of the financial problems were identified that we considered the HST”. That claim has now been put to rest. Two months before the election a Ministry of Finance staffer puts a briefing note in the Minister’s In box and he doesn’t read it? Are we to believe that Staffers prepare briefing notes that the minister is not expected to read? Are we to believe that the Staffer was not asked/directed to prepare such a note?

Second, they said “It is good for the economy“ and the inference was that even if they lied to get elected, this is a good thing and in a sense the end justifies the means. They even have the BC Chamber guy telling us that he knows better than all of us (meaning it is good for business and that what is good for business is good for everyone. But a half-truth is not the truth.

Third was the personal attacks against the Fight HST proponents as though lying is excusable because the opponent is even less credible. Some endorsement? And, more like avoiding the truth.

It all reminds me of the comment from a former Socred MLA and Minister P.A. Gaglardi who is reported to have said, “if I believe something is the truth at the time, I have not lied” How do you prove what a person believed “at the time”? But you see they can always claim to be incompetent rather than liars. Incompetence is more likely forgiven. The problem is that after a decade of “terminological inexactitudes” that have been exposed” selecting “incompetence” as an excuse doesn’t work.

Now in case you are wondering why I post this here, the above Release has no relevance to the Northwest Region. So in a sense it is only half the picture or half the truth.