Federal minimum wage, taxes on alcohol: Here's what's changing in Canada April 1
Several major changes that could impact your wallet are on their way, some of which take effect April 1.
The federal minimum wage is set to increase by $1.10—from $15.55 per hour to $16.65—and you may end up paying more for gas and alcohol as of Saturday.
The minimum wage increase is meant to keep up with inflation and is based on the consumer price index, which rose 6.8 per cent last year, according to the federal government.
This wage increase only applies to federally-regulated private sectors such as banks, postal and courier services and interprovincial air, rail, road, and marine transportation. The government says the increase will help around 26,000 Canadian workers make life more affordable.
If the minimum wage is higher in the province or territory you live in, your employer must pay the higher amount.
Here are the provinces and territories where the minimum wage is set to increase on April 1:
- Manitoba: $13.50 to $14.15
- New Brunswick: $13.75 to $14.75
- Newfoundland and Labrador: $13.70 to $14.50
- Nova Scotia: $13.60 to $14.50
- Yukon: $15.70 to $16.77
To learn more about minimum wage in Canada, visit the government’s website.
The excise tax on alcohol was set to increase by 6.3 per cent April 1, which would have been the largest hike in more than 40 years. However, the feds instead temporarily capped it at two per cent after outcry from microbrewers and distillers.
The temporary cap will only remain in effect for a fiscal year, but it’s still a major win for those in the industry, according to Beer Canada president CJ Hélie.
The federal alcohol tax raises automatically based on inflation each year, which is why the planned increase was so high at 6.3 per cent. It is separate from provincial fees and sales taxes.
The government expects to collect $100 million from the excise tax in the 2023-24 fiscal year, according to federal documents.
Expect to pay more at the pumps when you fill up your vehicle starting Saturday, as the federal government’s carbon pricing increases from $50 per tonne to $65 per tonne. The Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation says that change will amount to 14.31 cents per litre of gas, up from 11.05 cents per litre.
B.C. NATURAL GAS PRICES
People living in British Columbia will soon see a break on their natural gas bill starting April 1.
After getting approval from the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC), FortisBC is lowering the amount it charges for natural gas.
FortisBC will charge $4.159 per gigajoule for gas, $1 less than its previous rate of $5.159. The price will remain in effect until June 30.
FortisBC changes what it charges for natural gas every fiscal quarter (with BCUC approval) to reflect the cost of acquiring natural gas at market-based prices.
People in the Lower Mainland will save about $7.50 every month on their bill on average, or about seven per cent, according to FortisBC estimates. In northeast B.C. around Fort Nelson, people could save an average of $10.40.
A previous version of this story stated an Ontario recycling program implementing fees on certain beverage containers would begin on April 1. The Canadian Beverage Container Recycling Association announced earlier in March that it was changing its launch date in Ontario from April 1 to June 1, 2023. The story has removed mention of the recycling program to reflect this.