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April 1 price hikes

It’s no joke: British Columbians will be paying more to ride the ferry and heat their homes come April 1.

BC Hydro rates are going up nine per cent, or about $96.12 per year, while BC Ferries fares are increasing about four per cent.

That means a family of four will have to part with about $102 to hop onboard.

“It’s clear everyone wants a world class ferry service, and that’s what they have here,” BC Ferries president Mike Corrigan said. “The challenge is: who’s going to pay for that service?”

The company is also eliminating free rides for seniors, who used to be able to walk on without paying from Monday to Thursday.

Starting Tuesday they will have to pay half-price to travel on all routes.

The ferry and hydro increases coincide with the federal government’s planned changes to medicinal marijuana laws, which are expected to raise the price for patients from $5 per gram to about $8.

The new pot laws are on hold due to a court injunction granted March 21 on behalf of patients battling to keep their ability to grow their own plants, however.

On Monday, hikes also hit those still sending snail mail as Canada Post raised the price for individual first-class stamps from 63 cents to $1.

The company, which is looking for revenue amid dwindling postage use, is also increasing bulk first-class stamps up to 85 cents, a 35 per cent spike.

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