Premier John Horgan has issued the following statement in honour of Labour Day:
“On Labour Day, we recognize the millions of working people in British Columbia and around the globe who have fought, and continue to fight, for workers’ rights.
“The rights we enjoy today would not exist without the hard-fought victories of unions. Minimum wage, weekends and holidays, job security, parental leave, vacation and overtime pay, protection from discrimination and harassment, and safety standards, are the result of collective action grounded in the belief that all working people deserve to be treated fairly.
“It is important that we continue to stand up for fairness, equality and security at work. We need to make sure our economy is working for everyone, workers and employers, not just the people at the top. This belief drives our government’s work to make life better for people in B.C. every day.
“This work includes raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021, so people with lower incomes can afford necessities. As of June 1, 2019, the minimum wage in B.C. is $13.85.
“This year, we made amendments to the Employments Standards Act that raise the working age for children, make sure people are paid the wages they are owed, and provide job protection for people dealing with domestic or sexual violence, or caring for the critically ill.
“We are providing more support for first responders who serve British Columbians and risk their personal safety in emergency situations. We have made presumptive coverage available to workers who experience trauma on the job and are at more risk of developing mental illnesses, like firefighters, police officers, paramedics, nurses, emergency dispatchers and publicly funded health-care aides.
“Our government is committed to making workplaces in British Columbia the safest in Canada. A review of B.C.’s workers’ compensation system is underway, so that every worker going through the system knows they will be treated with dignity and respect.
“And to improve protections and supports for foreign workers who are vulnerable to abuse, our government brought in the new Temporary Foreign Worker Protection Act.
“We still have much more to do, but I am proud of the progress we are making. Together with our partners in the labour movement, we will continue to stand up for vulnerable workers and prioritize worker health and safety, so that we can build a better future for all British Columbians.
“Happy Labour Day.”