FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – With a new year, brings new prices for products and services all of us use on a daily basis. Here is what residents in B.C. can expect to see now that we are into a new year.
The biggest change for almost all residents is the reduction in Medical Services Plan premiums. Premiums will be reduced by 50 percent in 2018. For those with a net income between $24,001 and $26,000, they will no longer have to pay any premiums.
The Province has formed a working group that will look at how they fund the reduction in premiums. An initial report from that group is expected this spring.
According to CTV News, inflation will continue to increase the costs of food for most Canadians. For the average family of four, they could spend an extra $348 between eating out and groceries. Most of the price increases are due to climate issues caused by La Nina, which is expected to cause droughts and increase the price of fruits and vegetables.
Then there is ICBC which is struggling with annual losses. The insurance company could decide in 2018 to increase premiums in order balance the budget. Premiums were just increased in November by 6.4 percent.
One other piece of good news for consumers is the Province has announced B.C. Hydro rates will be frozen until 2019.