B.C. Hydro rates are set to potentially increase by almost 3 per cent beginning in April, pending a decision from the B.C. Utilities Commission. (File)

B.C. Hydro rates are set to potentially increase by almost 3 per cent beginning in April, pending a decision from the B.C. Utilities Commission. (File)

What will cost more in 2021 in B.C.?

Hydro, Fortis rates go up, as does minimum wage

Every year has its financial ups and downs. Though 2021 has just begun, it, too, will have peaks and valleys.

Here’s a breakdown of what is going to cost British Columbians more – and less – this year:

Minimum wage

Minimum wage is set to increase to $15.20 per hour in June 2021; this follows an upward, government-mandated trend at the beginning of every June since 2018, when minimum wage was set at $12.65 per hour.

Bus fees

In early December, the transportation ministry announced B.C. Transit and TransLink fare changes will remain capped at affordable levels until the end of March 2024, thanks to support from pandemic-related funding.

As for B.C. Ferries, there will be no fare increase as the fiscal year closes at the end of March. Meanwhile, future increases are limited to rate caps established pre-pandemic.

ICBC

ICBC recently applied for a 15 per cent decrease for basic vehicle insurance, which is a big step toward their promise to reduce insurance costs by 20 per cent. Optional insurance rates are expected to see a cut effective Feb. 1 of this year.

RELATED: Rising income, real estate tax hold B.C. deficit at $13.6 billion

BC Hydro and carbon tax

Meanwhile, B.C. Hydro has submitted a request to the B.C. Utilities Commission (BCUC) for a 2.7 per cent rate increase beginning April 2021. This follows a 1 per cent decrease announced in April 2020 that cut average residential bills by $16 per year. Natural gas rates will see a significantly sharper increase as the BCUC approved a 6.59 per cent hike, coming off of a 2 per cent increase the previous January.

The provincial carbon tax is scheduled for an increase from $40 to $45 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e)starting in April 2021 with an additional $5 increases per tCO2e the following year.

RELATED: Carbon tax increase April 1

Other costs and fees

Two other tax changes are slated to take effect in April, including eliminating PST exemption for carbonated beverages containing sugar or natural and artificial sweeteners and new PST regulations for e-commerce businesses based outside the province.

– With files from Tom Fletcher


 

@ashwadhwani
adam.louis@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Finance

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Edward Koepke holds up a rainbow trout he caught at Dewar Lake. (Photo submitted)
Ice fishing at Dewar Lake on the chopping block

Ministry staff are eyeing the popular spot for a brood lake

Interior Health reported 91 new COVID-19 cases in the region Jan. 20, 2021 and three additional deaths. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
95 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health, two deaths

Another member of Vernon’s Noric House has passed

Williams Lake RCMP have announced a new officer in charge, Myron Friesen, of Grande Prairie, Alta. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Longtime Williams Lake RCMP officer in charge leaving, new replacement announced

Insp. Jeff Pelley has been with the Williams Lake RCMP since 2016

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
RCMP investigating suspicious trailer found abandoned in Cache Creek

Hazardous materials believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs were found

Interior Health has declared the Cariboo Chilcotin a community cluster. (Angie Mindus photo)
Interior Health declares Cariboo Chilcotin region a COVID-19 cluster, 215 cases since Jan. 1

Most cases are related to transmission at social events and gatherings in Williams Lake

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Vancouver flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

The top part of the fossil burrow, seen from the side, with feathery lines from the disturbance of the soil – thought to be caused by the worm pulling prey into the burrow. (Paleoenvironntal Sediment Laboratory/National Taiwan University)
PHOTOS: SFU researchers find evidence of ‘giant’ predatory worms on ocean floor

Fossils found the prove the existence of an ancient Taiwanese worm as long as two metres

Most Read