While April 1 marks the full reinstatement of the provincial fuel tax and federal carbon prices increasing, other fees are also going up come this month. 

Parking fees at Alberta Health Services (AHS) facilities

In February, AHS announced that public parking rates at its facilities across Alberta would be increased as of today. The rates will increase by 3.18 per cent to 3.3 per cent across the province.

"The adjusted rates will vary by market, but on average, daily rates will go up by $0.75 in large markets and $0.50 in smaller markets," AHS stated earlier.

Specifically, this increase impacts parking at AHS facilities in Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Leduc, St. Albert, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Grande Prairie, and Fort McMurray.

AHS underlined that its public parking rates have not been adjusted in more than eight years.

"The costs of maintaining existing AHS parking structures and building new parking structures have increased, and parking fees must increase to fund these items."

There are several options for those who use AHS parking. This includes monthly and weekly parking passes, which are available to patients and visitors at facilities across the province, at rates well below market value.

Compassionate parking passes are also available to people facing financial hardship on a case-by-case basis. There is also the option of volunteer driver programs that are available at some AHS facilities, offering free transportation to and from AHS facilities for treatment.

"No healthcare dollars go towards parking services at AHS facilities. AHS parking is required to be financially self-sustaining, and AHS is responsible for all maintenance costs, as well as the costs for the construction of any new parkades," AHS added.

Electricity Rates

Last week, Direct Energy Regulated Services (DERS) announced default electric rates for April. 

"The energy rate for April is approximately 8 per cent higher than the energy rate charged last month. A typical residential customer consuming 600 kWh per month would see approximately a $0.63 or 0 per cent increase in the total amount of their bill compared to last month," the company stated.

Last week, Direct Energy Regulated Services (DERS) announced default electric rates for April.Last week, Direct Energy Regulated Services (DERS) announced default electric rates for April. (Graphic credit to Direct Energy Regulated Services (DERS))

DERS added that the Regulated Rate Option (RRO) sets the rate per kilowatt hour that regulated customers pay for electric energy in the ATCO Electric service territory.

"The rates are adjusted each month to reflect the price that DERS pays to buy energy on behalf of customers. The method DERS uses to set the RRO rates has been verified and approved by the Alberta Utilities Commission."

Although, electricity rates will see a slight increase, the natural gas rates that have been announced for this month are set to decrease in comparison to March.

Natural gas rates to decrease

Direct Energy Regulated Services said that the default natural gas rates for April will apply to customers who have not chosen a competitive supplier within the ATCO Gas North and South service territories.

"The rates have been verified by the Alberta Utilities Commission," DERS added.

South Service Territory

The South territory includes customers living south of the City of Red Deer.

  • For customers in the ATCO Gas South service territory, the April regulated natural gas rate is decreasing from the March rate of $2.133 per GJ to $1.933 per GJ.
    • This rate reflects a market price for April supplies of approximately $1.680 per GJs reported by the NGX and incorporates an adjustment of $0.254 per GJ for March and prior months.
  • The typical residential gas bill for April based on an average of nine GJ of consumption would be approximately $127 in the South.

Parking fees at Lake Louise

Although increased parking fees at Lake Louise are not coming into effect until mid-May, those wanting to visit Lake Louise or Moraine Lake will have to pay 75 per cent more for parking.

"Paid parking will be in effect at the Lake Louise Lakeshore from 3 a.m. until 7 p.m. from May 17 to October 14, 2024. Parking rates are $36.75 for the day - no hourly parking is available," Parks Canada stated on social media.

"This fee, along with fees collected from the shuttles, helps Parks Canada offset the costs of the traffic management program in the Lake Louise area. Parks Canada shuttles continue to offer another way for visitors to access the lakes. Youth under 18 ride for free, seniors’ tickets are half-price, and tickets for adults are only $8," the post continued.

Parks Canada also added that if visitors do not have a reservation on the Parks Canada Shuttle, Roam Public Transit, or other transportation provider, they should consider returning when they have secured reservations in advance.

"Visitors without reservations are not likely to find parking at Lake Louise."

And for those travelling east of Airdrie to Drumheller, beginning next month the Town is set to roll out its paid parking program

Drumheller announces paid parking program coming May 1 

According to the town's website, The Town of Drumheller is partnering with HotSpot to roll out a paid parking program in specific areas throughout Drumheller. The Town lists the prices as follows:

  • Parking Lots: $2.00/hour 
  • Street Parking: $2.50/hour  
  • Day Parking: $20.00/day 

Annually, the paid parking program will be implemented from May 1 to October 31, from 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. daily. On-street paid parking time will be limited to two hours for both residents and visitors.

"This program will improve parking availability and generate revenue to assist with upgrades and infrastructure maintenance throughout the Drumheller Valley. License plate recognition cameras will be used by enforcement patrols in designated paid parking areas and lots. There are no printed passes issued for display in vehicles."

The paid parking program will cover several parking spaces within Drumheller, including: 

  • Badlands Community Facility parking lot
  • Hoodoos parking lot
  • Rotary Park (World's Largest Dinosaur) parking lot
  • Street parking along Riverside Drive E
  • Suspension Bridge parking lot
  • Town-owned parking lot on 1 Street E
  • Town-owned parking lot on 2 Avenue W
  • Town-owned parking lot on the corner of 2 Street W and Riverside

"Individuals with a visible parking placard for persons with disabilities may park in designated disability parking spaces for free," The Town added. "Residents and property owners within the Town of Drumheller will be eligible to apply for a free Residential Parking Permit. Without a Residential Parking Permit, residents will not be recognized by the HotSpot Parking systems and will be at risk of receiving parking violation tickets if parking in designated paid parking areas."

Send your news tips, story ideas, pictures, and videos to news@discoverairdrie.com. You can also message and follow us on Twitter: @AIR1061FM

DiscoverAirdrie encourages you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the DiscoverAirdrie app. For breaking news, weather and contest alerts click here.