Select Page

P.E.I. rental cap demonstrates anti-business bias

Kathy McInnis is a property owner in Charlottetown.

First of all, I would like to state that I never write letters to the editor, and I really do not get involved in politics. But when politics start taking away our right to earn a living while using the business community as a scape goat, there is a problem.

I am speaking about the government’s unprecedented move of over-ruling IRAC and legislating a zero per cent increase. I believe there are certainly people who need help paying the rent but not everyone is struggling. There are tenants out there who can afford a reasonable rent increase, based on their incomes.

In addition, why would the government offer a $58-million inflation subsidy to Islanders and exclude rent increases as an eligible inflationary item? It smacks of a government putting a spring election ahead of the well-being of this province.

P.E.I.’s housing shortage is a product of many factors.

I welcome immigration, both international and inter-provincial, but in the absence of an actual housing strategy, rental property owners are paying the price for this government’s failure. It takes a tent city propping up in downtown Charlottetown before this government decides to act.

So in the face of housing shortage created on Minister MacKay and Premier King’s watch, the policy is to blame property owners. Let’s penalize rental property owners and not allow them to increase the rent while interest rates, oil, electricity, food, property taxes (which are paid to our government), have all increased.

The cost to fill an oil tank, is now close to $2,000. What does Mr. MacKay and Premier King think will happen when we can’t pay our mortgage payments to the bank? We lose the building; do you think the bank is going to continue operating the building and not break even? I don’t think so. People will lose their homes.

P.E.I. is a very challenging place to live if you own a business. The King government and Green party are displaying such an anti-business bias in both their actions and rhetoric that who would ever want to invest here. And then there is the hypocrisy. It’s fine for Peter Bevan Baker to sell off his $700,000 mansion in Belfast to off-Island interests and make thousands in profits, but we as rental property owners are capped at zero, unable to even cover our costs … unbelievable.

I believe current government forgets that you can never sway to far left or too far right. Public policy should strive for a middle ground. Let’s hope it’s not too late for Mr. MacKay and the King government to find that middle ground, rather than trying to outflank the Green party.