Since Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberals first started breaking their word to British Columbians a decade ago, B.C. families have suffered from years of job losses and stagnant wages. Here is a snapshot:
- Job losses:Since 2008, B.C. has lost 90,300 full time jobs. Between 2000 and 2009, B.C. had a net loss of 12,400 resource industry jobs and 38,700 manufacturing jobs. The transportation and warehousing sector saw zero growth.
- Minimal job growth:The average annual growth in jobs between 2001 and 2010 was just 1.5 per cent, compared to an average of 2.3 per cent from 1992 to 2001.
- Stagnant wages:Between 2001 and 2010, B.C. had the lowest growth in average hourly wages and the third-lowest growth in weekly wages in Canada.
- Lowest paid workers in Canada:While every other province in Canada has raised their minimum wage and many have created certainty for business by indexing it to inflation, the B.C. Liberals have frozen the minimum wage at $8 per hour since 2001, when Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberals first formed government.
- Unemployment: B.C.’s unemployment rate increased in February to 8.8 per cent, the highest rate west of the Atlantic provinces. British Columbia’s rate is 3.5 points higher than Manitoba, and 3.1 points higher than Saskatchewan and Alberta.
- Quality of work:One of the first acts that Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberals did after taking office a decade ago was to gut the Employment Standards Act. Since then, vulnerable workers, including children and farm labourers, have increasingly been put at risk.
The New Democrat vision for a strong, dynamic economy includes a fair and competitive tax environment, support for small business, fiscal responsibility, a fair minimum wage with predictable increases, and investment in green jobs to diversify our economic base.