The BC United Caucus thrust Premier David Eby into the spotlight, alleging he marketed a condo property he sold as a potential Airbnb investment for increased financial gain.
This revelation comes just after Eby’s NDP Government introduced new legislation aimed at regulating the rapidly expanding short-term rental market, including Airbnb rentals.
MLA Karin Kirkpatrick, BC United’s Shadow Minister for Housing, pointed out that while Eby’s profit from selling his Victoria condo in 2019 to evade the speculation tax was known, the property’s non-conforming use exemption for Airbnb had not been disclosed until now.
This exemption was actively promoted in Eby’s 2019 real estate listing. The building that housed Eby’s condo even featured an “on-site B&B management team” dedicated to managing short-term rental bookings.
The sale of the taxpayer subsidized-condo reportedly netted Eby $150,000 in profit.
BC has seen a significant surge in short-term rental listings on online platforms, diverting thousands of long-term rental homes into the short-term market.
With approximately 28,000 daily active short-term rental listings in B.C., the NDP Government is now trying to crack down on the very type of short term rentals that Premier Eby profited from just four years ago.
NDP’s love / hate relationship with Airbnb
Not just BC, but Alberta’s former NDP Premier, Rachel Notley, has also dipped her toes in the Airbnb waters.
The Counter Signal recently revealed that Notley is renting out her lake house in British Columbia through Airbnb. The Alberta opposition leader’s “Beachfront Balfour Kootenay Retreat” is listed on Airbnb’s website for $210 per night in beautiful British Columbia.
“Entire house & property beside stunning Kootenay Lake. Ninety second walk to sandy public beach. Two decks with striking views of the lake and mountains,” the listing states.
Meanwhile, federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has called out Airbnb for exacerbating the country’s housing crisis.