CPE, driver’s license or tuition fees, 2023 kicks off with Quebec public company rate hikes. But the government is limiting this increase to 3% to give people a breath of fresh air.
Draft Law 1, adopted in December by the National Assembly, will come into force on January 1 and limits the increase in tariffs of state-owned companies to 3% for the next four years.
The decision is aimed at helping Quebecers make ends meet during difficult times and control inflation, Treasury Secretary Eric Girard said. This year, the increase could be 6.4% if it were indexed to the inflation rate.
What services are affected?
This limits the increase in targets:
- driver’s license and vehicle registration;
- day care services;
- tuition fees;
- separate and semi-separate rooms in DSSHD;
- hospital parking lots;
- access rights to provincial parks on the Sépaq network;
- fast charging stations for electric vehicles;
- hunting and fishing permits;
- certain immigration fees.
Thus, the permit for passenger cars increases from $24 to $24.75. A day in subsidized daycare increases to $8.95. And for a single room in the public DHSND now you have to pay another 60 dollars a month.
What about electricity?
The increase in electricity prices for individuals will also be limited to 3%. This is the subject of a special bill introduced in early December in the National Assembly by the Minister for the Economy, Innovation and Energy, Pierre Fitzgibbon.
Hydro-Québec tariffs are reviewed every year on April 1st. The government has not opted for a rate freeze, as it did in 2020. Hydro-Quebec rates are up 1.3% in 2021 and 2.6% last year.
Slow down inflation
During the latest provincial campaign, the Avenir Québec Coalition made a 3% cap on public service fees one of its campaign promises. The measure represents a deficit estimated by the government at $1.1 billion over five years for the state treasury.
Québec Solidaire and Parti Québécois have called for a one-year freeze on utility rates to help households fight the rising cost of living.
Minister Eric Girard cited the difficulty of unfreezing rates and returning to higher levels based on the previous year’s inflation rate to explain the choice of a cap rather than a freeze.
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