What will cost you more (or less) in 2022

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Here are some changes BC consumers can expect in 2022.

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New year, new rules, new rates.

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Here are some changes BC consumers can expect in 2022.

Sick days

Paid sick leave will be standard for workers in British Columbia starting Jan. 1, with a minimum of five paid sick days each year. The province estimates that one million workers, most of whom are at the bottom of the wage scale, currently do not receive any sick leave.

Don’t throw away your milk jugs

Starting Feb. 1, BC’s beverage container deposit system will expand to include milk containers — and containers for milk alternatives — putting them in the same category as soft drink bottles. , beer cans and others.

This means you will pay an additional 10 cents per container at the store. You can collect your deposit from your local bottle return depot.

You can still leave your milk jugs in the blue box, but you will not get your deposit back.

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Note that the Department of the Environment has a five-year plan that will eventually add more items – electric vehicle batteries, mattresses, medical sharps, compressed canisters such as propane canisters and a fire extinguisher – to its extended producer responsibility strategy, in which manufacturers, distributors and retailers are responsible for the life cycle of their products.

Electricity bills go down!

BC Hydro requested a 1.4% reduction in electricity rates on April 1. If the BC Utilities Commission approves the application, it will save residential customers about $23 over one year. Annual electricity costs for commercial customers will be reduced by an average of $974 and for industrial customers by $325,205.

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This is the second time in the past three years that BC Hydro will reduce customer bills. Be warned, though: Hydro is asking for increases of 2.0 and 2.7% in 2023 and 2024.

No change to minimum wage

There is no change to the minimum wage scheduled for 2022. This is notable, as the rate has increased every June 1 since 2018, from $11.35 per hour in 2017 to $15.20.

Ferry fares increase

As part of a deal that got them Safe Restart money from the provincial government last year, BC Ferries and BC Transit limited their annual fare increases to 2.3% through March 31 2024.

Ferry fares will increase by this amount on average across the fleet on April 1. However, no changes to Victoria bus fares are expected.

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Transit fare hikes capped in Metro Vancouver

TransLink’s costs could increase further in 2022, but the increases are capped. Earlier this year, TransLink’s Board of Directors approved a 2.3% rate increase, which took effect on Canada Day. The cost of a Compass card trip to a zone for an adult has gone up from $2.40 to $2.45, while an adult monthly pass has gone up from $98 to $100.25.

TransLink hoped to increase rates across the board by 4.6% in 2021. However, TransLink later agreed not to increase rates in 2020 and no more than 2.4% per year through 2024 as part of of a COVID-19 funding agreement with the provincial government. .

No increase in ICBC

It won’t be like 2021, when a new car insurance model saw ICBC cut premiums. Still, ICBC rates won’t rise until 2023 at the earliest.

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Incidentally, in the first four months of the new system, most customers who renewed their comprehensive auto insurance with ICBC saved an average of 28%, or $496, over the previous year.

Fortis in place

Fortis BC bills will increase by 9% – about $8 per month, on average – starting January 1. One factor is the rise in the price of natural gas over the past three months.

carbon tax

The carbon tax will increase from $5 to $50 a tonne in April, adding about a penny a liter to the price at the pump.

The other part of the equation, the climate action tax credit, will see more money start flowing the other way on July 1.

The credits are income-tested, with low-income people benefiting the most. The maximum amount adults in British Columbia can receive each year will increase from $174 to $193.50. The rate will increase from $51 to $56.50 per child.

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Property taxes

In Metro Vancouver, property taxes will increase by an average of 3.5%, according to Kris Sims of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

In Vancouver, a larger property tax increase of 6.35% will take effect, while in Surrey the average property tax will increase by 2.9%. Richmond will see a 3.86% tax increase and Coquitlam will see a 3.43% increase.

New rules on high interest rates

British Columbia’s consumer protection rules governing installment loans or lines of credit with an interest rate above 32% will come into effect on May 1.

The regulations, designed to protect people who use expensive financial services to make ends meet, will prohibit certain fees and practices and establish the rights of borrowers.

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The rules will be in line with those of payday loan companies.

Coming plastic ban

A ban on plastic bags in Vancouver will see businesses start charging fees, including $0.15 for paper bags, $1.00 for new reusable shopping bags and $0.25 for single-use cups January 1st.

The city is requiring businesses to charge a fee to encourage consumers to avoid fees and reduce waste by bringing their own bags or cups.

With the revenue generated from the new costs, businesses are advised to invest in reusable alternatives such as dishwashers, reusable cups or “take a bag, leave a bag” programs.

– With files by Sarah Grochowski

  1. As of January 1, a new Vancouver bylaw means retailers can no longer provide customers with single-use plastic bags.

    Disappearance of plastic bags: Vancouver will join other BC cities banning them in 2022

  2. Pedestrian injuries and fatalities in Metro Vancouver 2016-20.

    Metro Vancouver’s Most Dangerous Intersections for Pedestrians


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