Saturday, December 31, 2016

What British Columbians will pay more for in 2017

CBC News

British Columbians can expect to pay more for electricity, public transit and car insurance in the new year.

ICBC, BC Hydro and Translink are all bumping their rates in 2017, and Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums will rise for more than half a million West Coasters as well.

Premier Christy Clark says she's considering rejigging the way B.C.ers are taxed, including changing MSP and property taxes, but nothing concrete is in the works yet.

Here are some of the services British Columbians will, or could, be shelling out more for in 2017.


Approximately 530,000 families in B.C. will see an MSP increase next year, according to NDP leader John Horgan.

For example, the new rates will see couples with an annual household income of more than $45,000 paying an extra $14 a month, or $168 a year.

The median total income for a family in B.C. is $76,770, according to Statistics Canada.

Senior couples who make over $51,000 will also see a bigger bill, landing in the highest price bracket without a chance at a discount.

There are some breaks for single parents who make less than $40,000 a year — they could save up to $1,248 annually, or $104 every month. Single parents with two kids could keep at least $900 in their pockets each year.

The provincial government said the new MSP rates are meant to give low-income families a break.

BC Hydro

BC Hydro's rates are slated to rise by 3.5 per cent on Apr. 1, 2017, keeping in line with the corporation's 10-year pricing plan.

The increase means the average monthly residential bill will go up by about $3.74.

The new rates are to help update BC Hydro's aging infrastructure and enable the corporation to keep up with the ever-growing need for power.

The demand for electricity hit a three-year provincial high on Friday in the midst of a two-week cold snap on the South Coast.

BC Hydro rates are going up by more than 3 per cent next April.

ICBC (read more)

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I have been a resident of Coldstream since 1976. I have had 15 years of experience on Council, 3 years as Mayor. As a current Councillor I am working to achieve fair water and sewer rates and to ensure that taxpayers get fair treatment. The current direction regarding water supply is unsustainable and I am doing all I can to get the most cost effective water supply possible.