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

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
253 new COVID-19 cases, 4 more deaths in Interior Health over the weekend

More than 1,000 cases in the region remain active

Interior Health confirms vaccination of priority populations has begun in Salmon Arm. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccinations underway in Salmon Arm

Interior Health confirms vaccination of priority populations has begun

Interior Health and School District 83 are responding to a confirmed COVID-19 exposure at the Salmon Arm Secondary Sullivan campus. (File photo)
COVID-19 virus returns to Salmon Arm Secondary campus

Member of Sullivan campus tests positive for COVID-19

A member of the M.V. Beattie Elementary School community tested positive for COVID-19, according to a statement issued Jan. 17, 2021. (photo submitted)
COVID-19 exposure at Enderby elementary

Member of school community tests positive for virus

Bastion Elementary was open Monday, Jan. 17, after one case of COVID-19 was confirmed among the school community. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
COVID-19 case confirmed at second Salmon Arm elementary school

Member of Bastion Elementary community self-isolating, students allowed to attend school

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

This is the location, 3240 Skaha Lake Road, of where BC Housing plans to build a four storey supportive housing project for the homeless and at risk of being homeless. (Jesse Day Western News)
Penticton mayor and MLA concerned about new BC Housing project

‘Penticton already has its fair share’ of BC Housing projects

Interior Health declared the COVID-19 outbreak at McKinney Place long term care home over Monday, Jan. 18, 2020. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at McKinney Place care home declared over

‘This has been one of our most challenging outbreaks so far,’ says chief medical health officer

Penticton Bylaw officer Glenn Smith, as well as resident Zak Laycock (not pictured), received the Governor General Award from the Royal Canadian Humane Association to recognize their heroism in a summer 2019 incident. (Contributed)
Bylaw officer and Penticton resident given awards for intervening in sexual assault

Bylaw officer Glenn Smith said he was simply in the right place at the right time

Sunnybank
COVID-19 related deaths at Oliver, West Kelowna and Vernon senior care homes

Sunnybank, Heritage Retirement Residence and Noric House recorded deaths over the weekend

Hillview Elementary students Emma Li and Mina Nadeau were awarded by the Premier’s office for winning the annual holiday card contest. (Karen Rogers photo)
North Okanagan students’ art featured on Premier’s cards

Hillview youth chosen for annual holiday card contest

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

An Abbotsford man was killed in a motor vehicle accident on Highway 3 on Monday, Jan. 18. (Black Press file photo)
Abbotsford man killed in Highway 3 crash near Hedley

Fatality was discovered by passing tow truck driver

Most Read