Plumbers installing new sinks and toilets in homes and businesses will have to pay higher inspection fees starting Saturday. The provincial government is raising the fees across the board.

The fee will rise from $14 for each fixture, such as a sink or toilet, to $20, with the minimum total fee rising from $20 to $50.

The increases bring the fees closer to what other provinces charge said Glenda MacKinnon-Peters, manager of inspection services.

"We operate on a cost-recovery model and when we looked at other jurisdictions, we wanted to be in that same region to try to look to align our fees," said MacKinnon-Peters.

Improving service

The province is bringing in some new technologies that will add to costs, MacKinnon-Peters noted.

"We are developing a new database for our plumbing permits that is going to allow plumbing contractors to apply for their permits online," she said.

"We are also looking at purchasing tablets for our inspectors."

The tablets will allow inspectors to have immediate access to the permit database and the plumbing code, which will improve service and eliminate red tape, said MacKinnon-Peters.

MacKinnon-Peters expects plumbers will likely pass on the fees to their clients.

Provincial electrical inspection permit fees are also going up.

With files from Angela Walker