What will cost you more (or less) in 2022

Paid sick leave, milk jug deposits, electricity prices (it’s going down), ferry fares, bus fares and more

New year, new rules, new prices.

Here are some changes consumers can expect to see in 2022.

Sick days

Paid sick leave will be the norm for workers in British Columbia starting January 1, with a minimum of five paid sick days each year. The province estimates that one million workers, most of them at the bottom of the pay scale, are currently not on sick leave.

Don’t throw away your jugs of milk

As of February 1, British Columbia’s beverage container deposit-refund system will expand to include milk containers (and milk substitute containers), placing them in the same category as bottles of soft drinks, beer cans and the like.

This means that you will pay an additional 10 cents per container at the store. You can collect your deposit at your local bottle return depot (there are seven in the Capital region, plus a self-service unit at the Hartland landfill where you drop off the bottles and then receive payment by e -mail).

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

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 cans such as propane cans and fire extinguishers – to its extended employee liability strategy. producers, in which manufacturers, distributors and retailers are responsible for the life cycle of their products.

Electricity bills are going down!

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

This is the second time in the past three years that BC Hydro will reduce customer bills. Be forewarned, however: 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 planned for 2022. This is remarkable, as the rate has increased every June 1 since 2018, from $ 11.35 per hour in 2017 to $ 15.20.

Ferry prices go up, buses are static

Under a deal that got them money for a safe restart from the provincial government last year, BC Ferries and BC Transit have seen their annual fare increases capped at 2.3% up to 2.3%. ” as of March 31, 2024.

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

BC Transit is reviewing its overall pricing strategy with respect to the changes in demand and travel patterns associated with the pandemic, but does not intend to revise Victoria’s fares in 2022.

No ICBC increase

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

By the way, in the first four months of the new system, most customers who renewed their full personal auto insurance through ICBC saved an average of 28%, or $ 496, from the previous year.

Fortis high

Fortis BC bills will increase by nine percent – about $ 8 per month, on average – starting January 1. One of the factors 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 per tonne in April, adding about a penny per liter to the price at the gas pump.

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

Credits are based on income, with low income earners benefiting the most. The maximum amount adults in British Columbia can receive each year will increase from $ 174 to $ 193.50. The rate will drop from $ 51 to $ 56.50 per child.

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.

The rules will be consistent with those of payday loan companies.

Plastic ban coming in 2021, uh….

It was supposed to happen this year, but a federal ban on six single-use plastic items, including bags, straws, six-pack rings and cutlery, is now expected sometime in 2022.

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