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Here's what will cost you more (or less) in B.C. in 2022 – Vancouver Sun

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Here are a few changes that B.C. consumers can expect to see in 2022.

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New year, new rules, new rates.

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Here are a few changes that B.C. consumers can expect to see in 2022.

Sick leave

Paid sick leave will be standard for workers in B.C. beginning Jan. 1, with a minimum of five paid sick days each year . The province estimates one million workers, most of them at the bottom of the pay scale, currently get no sick leave.

Don’t chuck your milk jugs

Starting Feb. 1, B.C.’s beverage container deposit-refund system will expand to include milk containers — and containers for milk alternatives — putting them in the same category as pop bottles, beer cans and the like.

That means you’ll pay an extra 10 cents per container at the store. You can get your deposit back at your local bottle-return depot.

You’ll still be able to leave your milk jugs in the blue box, but you won’t get your deposit back.

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Note that the Environment Ministry has a five-year plan that will eventually add more items — electric-vehicle batteries, mattresses, medical sharps, compressed canisters such as propane canisters and 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 going down!

B.C. Hydro has applied to lower electricity rates by 1.4 per cent on April 1. If the B.C. Utilities Commission approves the request, that will save residential customers about $23 over a year. Commercial customers’ annual electricity costs will be reduced by $974 on average and industrial customers by $325,205.

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This is the second time in the past three years B.C. Hydro will decrease bills for its customers. Be forewarned, though: Hydro is requesting increases of 2.0 and 2.7 per cent in 2023 and 2024.

No change to minimum wage

There’s no change to the minimum wage scheduled for 2022. That’s noteworthy, as the rate has risen each June 1 since 2018, going from $11.35 an hour in 2017 to $15.20.

Ferry fares up

Under a deal that saw them get Safe Restart money from the provincial government last year, B.C. Ferries and B.C. Transit had their annual fare increases capped at 2.3 per cent through March 31, 2024.

Ferry fares will rise by an average of that amount across the fleet on April 1. No change to Victoria bus fares is scheduled, though.

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Transit fee hikes capped in Metro Vancouver

TransLink costs could go up again in 2022 but the increases are capped. Earlier this year, TransLink’s board of directors approved a 2.3-per-cent increase in fares , which came into effect on Canada Day. The cost of a one-zone Compass card trip for an adult rose to $2.45 from $2.40, while an adult monthly pass rose to $100.25 from $98.

TransLink was hoping to raise fares across the board by 4.6 per cent in 2021. However, TransLink then agreed not to increase fares in 2020 and not beyond 2.4 per cent a year until 2024 as part of a COVID-19 funding agreement with the provincial government.

No ICBC increase

It won’t be like 2021, when a new car-insurance model saw ICBC slash its premiums. Still, ICBC rates won’t go up until 2023 at the earliest.

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By the way, during the first four months of the new system, most customers who renewed their full personal auto insurance through ICBC saved an average of 28 per cent, or $496, compared to the previous year.

Fortis up

Fortis B.C. bills will rise nine per cent — about $8 a month, on average — effective Jan. 1. A factor is the rising price of natural gas over the past three months.

Carbon tax

The carbon tax will go up by $5 to $50 per tonne in April, adding about a penny a litre 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 July 1.

The credits are based on income, with low-income people benefiting the most. The maximum amount B.C. adults can receive each year will rise to $193.50 from $174. The rate will go from $51 to $56.50 per child.

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Property taxes

Across Metro Vancouver, property tax will go up by an average of 3.5 per cent, according to Kris Sims with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

In Vancouver, a bigger property tax increase of 6.35 per cent will go into effect, while in Surrey, average property taxes will increase by 2.9 per cent. Richmond will see a 3.86 per cent tax hike and Coquitlam will see an increase of 3.43 per cent.

New high-interest rules

B.C.’s consumer-protection rules governing instalment loans or lines of credit with an interest rate above 32 per cent will come into effect May 1.

The regulations, designed to protect people who resort to high-cost financial services to make ends meet, will ban certain fees and practices and establish borrowers’ rights.

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

Plastic ban coming

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

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

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

– With files from Sarah Grochowski

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

    Disappearing plastic bags: Vancouver to join other B.C. cities banning them in 2022

  2. Pedestrian injuries and deaths across Metro Vancouver 2016-20.

    Metro Vancouver’s most dangerous intersections for pedestrians


Start your day with a roundup of B.C.-focused news and opinion delivered straight to your inbox at 7 a.m., Monday to Friday by subscribing to our Sunrise newsletter here .


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Is there more to this story? We’d like to hear from you about this or any other stories you think we should know about. Email vantips@postmedia.com.

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Workers at Teck Resources’ British Columbia mine to hold ratification vote

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Canadian miner Teck Resources Ltd said on Monday that a union representing 1,048 workers at its British Columbia mine has agreed to hold a ratification vote on the mediators’ recommendation.

The union will schedule a ratification vote to be concluded no later than January 24, the company said.

Last week, the company said it had received a strike notice https://reut.rs/3A7TJZQ from the union at its Highland Valley Copper Operations in British Columbia, without providing any reasons behind the potential strike.

 

(Reporting by Rithika Krishna in Bengaluru; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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Markets split on BoC decision as business survey, inflation loom – BNN

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The Bank of Canada is getting a pair of key indicators this week ahead of a rate decision next Wednesday that’s virtually a coin toss, as far as markets are concerned.

First up on Monday, the central bank releases its quarterly Business Outlook Survey, which provides a snapshot of how approximately 100 corporate leaders are feeling about the economy and their own business fundamentals.

When the last survey was released in October, it showed the broadest gauge of sentiment was at the highest level in the survey’s history. That was despite worsening labour shortages and as more than half of respondents (57 per cent) said they expected labour costs to accelerate over the next year.

“[Monday’s] Business Outlook Survey might have been completed too early to catch Omicron uncertainties, so expect respondents to retain a healthy dose of optimism,” said CIBC World Markets Chief Economist Avery Shenfeld in a report to clients Friday.

“The survey could show a majority expecting inflation to run above the top end of the Bank of Canada’s one-three per cent inflation band. If not for Omicron, that would spell a rate hike in January, but the uncertainties surrounding how long this disruption will last should be enough to defer that decision.”

Meanwhile, Statistics Canada will release the consumer price index for December on Wednesday. Economists are expecting to see inflation rose 4.8 per cent year-over-year in the month; that would be the fastest rate of growth since 1991.

As of 8:30 a.m. Monday morning, market data shows investors see a 59 per cent chance of a rate hike when the Bank of Canada delivers its decision on Jan. 26.

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House Price Index rose 26% in 2021, fastest pace on record – CBC News

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The Canadian Real Estate Association’s House Price Index rose by 26.6 per cent in the 12 months up to December, the fastest annual pace of gain on record.

The group, which represents more than 100,000 realtors and tabulates sales data from homes that listed and sell via the Multiple Listings Service, said the supply of homes for sale at the end of the month hit an all-time low.

After pausing for a few weeks in the early days of the pandemic, Canada’s housing market has been on an absolute tear for the past two years, as feverish demand from buyers wishing to take advantage of rock-bottom interest rates has drastically outpaced the supply of homes to buy.

That imbalance is a major factor contributing to higher prices, as buyers have to pay more and more to outbid others because of the lack of alternatives.

Various experts are suggesting that parts of the country are showing signs of being in a speculative bubble, and CREA says the biggest reason for runaway price increases is that there aren’t enough homes being put up for sale.

“There are currently fewer properties listed for sale in Canada than at any point on record,” CREA’s chief economist Shaun Cathcart said. “So unfortunately, the housing affordability problem facing the country is likely to get worse before it gets better.”

High prices not denting demand

CREA says the average price of a Canadian home that sold on MLS in December went for $713,500. That’s actually down from the record high of more than $720,000 in November, but still well up on an annual basis.


High prices don’t seem to be slowing demand, however, as 2021 was the busiest year for home sales ever. Some 666,995 residential properties traded hands on MLS last year, smashing the previous annual record by 20 per cent.

TD Bank economist Rishi Sondhi said that there was a less than two-month supply of homes for sale during the month, which means at the current sales pace, all listings would be gone in less than two months. Under normal conditions, there’s a five-month supply of homes for sale, and Sondhi says that supply and demand imbalance is a major factor in eye-popping price gains.

“With interest-rate pull-forward behaviour keeping demand so strong, and supply struggling to keep up, it’s little wonder why prices are continuing their relentless upward march,” he said. “Buyers pulling forward demand ahead of looming interest rate hikes kept sales at unsustainable levels last month. How long this effect will last is uncertain, but it should eventually fade.”

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