What a world it would be if governments could simply legislate higher pay for low-wage workers without any ill effects. But we live in the real world and here public policy should be informed by evidence, not just good intentions. The reality that many labour activists fail to realize is that when governments mandate wage floors, there are real adverse effects. And the people hurt are often the most vulnerable with the least skills.
When I lived in the idyllic city of Victoria, a photocopier salesman once tried to lease me one of his machines by noting mine was made in Japan (while his was manufactured in Canada). He told me I should lease the latter and not the former to support Canadian jobs.
The salesman couldn't have known this, but I'd spent two years in the land of the rising sun, so he lost me at 'Japan.' I like it when my fellow Canadians have jobs; I also like it when my friends in Japan are employed.
Terrace city council recently shelved a proposal to implement a living wage policy. Terrace taxpayers should hope it stays shelved.