The government said the wage increase matches B.C.'s 2022 average inflation rate and will benefit about 150,000 workers, most of them food service staff, grocery store workers, retail workers and others who were essential workers during the pandemic.
Fiona Famulak, president and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce, said the wage increase is the latest of several government decisions in the last 14 months "to have added significantly'' to the cost of doing business in the province.
Famulak said the new minimum wage, the introduction of mandatory five-days paidsick leaveand a new statutory holiday may discourage business investment in B.C.
"The BC Chamber of Commerce is extremely disappointed with the government's decision to increase the minimum wage by such a significant amount,'' Famulak said in a release. ``This decision is the wrong choice, at the wrong time.''
Anita Huberman, president of the Surrey Board of Trade, said the increase would lead to "further unsustainable cost increases for businesses.''
"Such a significant increase in minimum wage should have been discussed last year with the business community, especially in the face of other unprecedented increases in taxes and fees from other levels of government,'' she said in a statement.
The $1.10 increase is much greater than the 45-cent boost in 2022, which matched the previous year's 2.8 per cent inflation rate.