On July 17, 1996, Bill C-35 came into effect, which redefined the federal minimum wage to be the adult minimum wage, in the provinces where the work was performed; by those employed in industries that fell under federal jurisdiction.
At the time, federal minimum wage was just $4.00 an hour, while in B.C., for instance, it was $7.00 an hour. Bill C-35 allowed federal workers to be paid the same as their provincial counterparts.
The Bill received the full support of the Bloc and NDP. Only the Reform Party opposed, wanting instead to just lower taxes.
One name appearing on the Nay list was the member of Parliament for Calgary West, Stephen Harper.
Today we are hearing a lot of criticism, primarily from the NDP and their supporters, of Jean Chretien, who was in power when the Bill was passed, despite the fact that in 1996, the NDP and their supporters applauded the move. It made sense and it was the right thing for them to do.
What doesn't make sense, and is profoundly wrong, is that they are exploiting this decades old bill to trick people into believing that the NDP are going to somehow save Canadians from the horror of this legislation.
Their ads suggest that they are going to raise the national/federal minimum wage to $15.00 an hour.
This created quite a buzz on social media, with claims that this would profoundly change the living conditions of the working poor.
What isn't in their fancy and over simplified ads, is that this will only affect about 100,000 workers of roughly 18,000,000. To raise those hopes for political gain, when you know full well that those hopes will be dashed when the program is implemented, is not only misleading, it is cold hearted.
On the streets of Toronto, Canadians of all ages were surprised to discover the NDP’s campaign promise was missing some important details.
Food truck worker Patrick McCormack said he thought the NDP’s $15/hr proposal meant that “that if you are working a job, regardless of what it is, you would be getting paid $15 an hour for that job.”Obviously, Mulcair's "middle class values" include a complete disregard for those who are really suffering. Maybe he needs to get down in the trenches and see how many Canadians are forced to live. He's spent most of his time advocating for the rights of the wealthy, and has no idea what hunger is.
Dangling this false hope in front of people who are losing hope is beyond despicable.
We don't need to have the federal minimum wage reinstated. It was archaic and costly. Provinces are better able to determine what their regional markets can bear. We need a living wage, the only thing that will really raise people from poverty.
Since CUPE has jumped on the bandwagon, using the subterfuge of "Liberal supporters", I can only assume that they want the Canadian public to prop up a costly program, for a small section of the workforce, so that they can unionise those only full time, only under federal jurisdiction, workers.
I can see no other reason for the NDP promoting this nonsense, especially as a way to relieve mass suffering.