Debate Over Short-Term Rentals Intensifies Following Premier David Eby’s Condo Sale

Premier David Eby’s 2019 condominium sale in Victoria has sparked controversy amid the ongoing discussions surrounding the New Democrat government’s intended regulations on short-term rental accommodations. Eby’s condo, located in a complex without rental constraints, was spotlighted by the Opposition BC United this Tuesday. Housing spokesperson, Karin Kirkpatrick, highlighted in the legislature that Eby sold the condo at a profit of $150,000 more than its purchase price. This notable gain, she implied, was driven by BC’s burgeoning short-term rental market.

In light of these circumstances, this month saw the introduction of a government bill targeting the swift rise of short-term rentals across BC, a move aimed at promoting much-needed long-term housing options. Renee Merrifield, an Opposition legislator representing Kelowna, went on to label Eby as the “condo king” in the legislative chamber. She accused him of monetizing his condo, which catered to the Airbnb market.

However, Premier Eby has rebuffed these allegations, terming the issue as a “fabricated controversy”. Addressing the media at the legislature, he clarified that he sold his family residence to purchasers who intended to accommodate their child attending higher education in Victoria. “I never advertised the property for transient leasing,” Eby emphasized. Amid these exchanges, BC United tabled an amendment on Tuesday, proposing to redefine the duration of a short-term rental from the suggested 90 days to just 30 days. The government subsequently voted against this proposition.

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