BC United calls premier 'condo king' over his property sale; Eby says 'nonsense'

VICTORIA — The sale of Premier David Eby's condominium in Victoria has become embroiled in the debate over the New Democrat government's proposed law on short-term rental accommodations.

The Opposition BC United accused Eby on Tuesday of largely profiting from the sale of his condominium in 2019 because it was in a building complex that did not have rental restrictions.

Housing critic Karin Kirkpatrick told the legislature that Eby sold the condo for $150,000 more than he originally paid, capitalizing on the province's explosion in short-term rentals.

The government introduced proposed legislation this month that takes aim at rapidly expanding short-term rentals in B.C. in an effort to increase badly needed long-term rental housing.

Renee Merrifield, an Opposition member of the legislature from Kelowna, referred to Eby in the house as "condo king," who cashed in by selling his Airbnb-friendly apartment.

But Eby calls the dispute a "manufactured scandal," saying he sold the condo where he was living with his family to buyers who bought the property for one of their children attending post-secondary education in Victoria.

"I did not market the property for short-term rental," Eby said at a news conference at the legislature.

The criticism came as the BC United introduced an amendment in the legislature Tuesday that aimed to reduce the time definition of a short-term rental accommodation service to 30 days from the proposed 90 days.

It was voted down by the government.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 24, 2023.

The Canadian Press