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

(Black Press Media file photo)
Blue-green algae bloom confirmed in Elk Lake, water-based activities not recommended

Blue-green algae can be lethal to dogs, cause health issues for humans

Victoria police arrested a man Jan. 15 after he rammed his minivan into an occupied police vehicle. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria man arrested for ramming minivan into occupied police vehicle

Man caught after fleeing, crashing into cement retaining wall

A fire sparked at an encampment between the Pat Bay Highway and McKenzie Avenue early Thursday morning. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Residents of Pat Bay Highway encampment to be relocated after early morning fire, site secured for clean up

Eviction notice issued in 2020, not enforced to allow BC Housing to connect with campers

Mayor Rob Martin and Costa Canna president Phil Floucault cut the ribbon on Colwood’s first cannabis retail store. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Cowichan Tribes’ Costa Canna cannabis store opens in Colwood

Cowichan Tribes has one-year deal to grow, sell cannabis

Trish and Steve Connor of Deep Cove are stoking a friendly competition among neighbourhoods with the help of NextDoor app to help raise money for the Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich entrepeneurs issue online challenge to help local food bank

Trish and Chris Connor use NextDoor app to raise funds for Saanich Lions Peninsula Food Bank

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

A northern resident killer whale shows injuries sustained by a collision with a vessel in B.C. waters. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Coast Guard ramps up protections for B.C. whales

First-ever Marine Mammal Desk will enhance cetacean reporting and enforcement

Most Read