British Columbia

Vancouver raises rates for water, sewer, garbage

Vancouver residents will be paying more for water, sewer and garbage services next year following a city council decision late Tuesday.

Mayor Gregor Robertson lays part of blame on previous councils

The cost of garbage services are among those that will cost Vancouver residents more in 2012. (City of Vancouver)

Vancouver city council has approved rate hikes for some essential services.

City residents will pay almost 10 per cent more for sewer and water services next year, and 5.7 per cent more for garbage disposal.

In total, the average taxpayer will pay between $80 and $85 more in 2012.

Mayor Gregor Robertson said the increases are at least partly due to decisions made years ago.

"Unfortunately, past councils did not make the investments in infrastructure in water or sewer or landfill, and that means we’re having to make up ground now," Robertson said after Tuesday’s council meeting.

Much of the money is needed to upgrade the sewer system and to help pay off big regional projects like the water filtration plant on the North Shore.

NPA councillor George Affleck voted against the increases.

"All in one year seems significant," Affleck said. "Let’s take a longer term approach with how these utilities operate."

With files from the CBC's Ben Hadaway