VICTORIA, B.C. - Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party, released the following statement in response to the government’s deal with Airbnb.
“While this announcement is a good first step from a tax fairness perspective, it will not change behaviour or free up long-term rental stock that has been taken out of the market due to short-term rental services,” said Weaver.
“The province needs to proactively encourage and support Local governments to take action to restrict and regulate short-term rentals, as the City of Vancouver and the City of Victoria have done.
“In our extremely tight rental markets, with near 0% vacancy rates, short-term rentals like Airbnb are taking many units out of long-term rental supply. We are in a crisis - we need to ensure that houses are used for homes for British Columbians first and foremost. The Province should work with Local governments to return units to the long-term rental supply.
“Government should be proactive in ensuring a fair playing field for business. This is one of the key reasons we campaigned to create an Emerging Economy Task Force - to address the disruptive economic and technological changes on the horizon. We look forward to the task force being implemented as soon as possible. We eagerly await the budget where we hope the government will take bold action to address the role of speculation in our housing market, and to support Local governments to address the housing crisis in their jurisdictions.”