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

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

It costs as little as $7 to charge an EV at home. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Electric Vehicles a rare sight (in the Kootenays), but change on the way

Electric pickups will increase the appeal of zero-emission vehicles in years to come according to Blair Qualey of the New Car Dealers Association

Linda Krawczyk and her dad Doug Finney enjoyed a ride around beautiful Fernie on Friday thanks to Melanie Wrigglesworth and the local chapter of Cycling Without Age. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Cycling Without Age goes for its first spin

Doug Finney (86) got to enjoy a ride around Fernie

The Cranbrook Community Forest is good to go for mountain biking. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Snow’s done, time to hit the trails

South Country trails are good to go

Interior Health nurses administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
69 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The total number of cases in the region is now at 9,840 since the pandemic began

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

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

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Local carpenter Tyler Bohn embarked on a quest to create the East Sooke Treehouse, after seeing people build similar structures on a Discovery Channel show. (East Sooke Treehouse Facebook photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. carpenter builds fort inspired by TV’s ‘Treehouse Masters’

The whimsical structure features a wooden walking path, a loft, kitchen – and is now listed on Airbnb

Most Read