Alberta NDP campaigns on rent control— a policy that would hurt everyone

There are plenty of examples of rent control creating slums, collapsing the rental supply, and driving away developers of large-scale rental projects.

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The Alberta NDP, amidst their leadership race, is campaigning on attacking basic property rights, and they are doing it in the most sinister of ways: helping the poor by pitting homeowners against their tenants.

In the end, the poor will be worse off.

Sometimes, the World Economic Forum agenda must be forced onto people when they won't willingly adopt it. 'You'll own nothing and be happy.' Remember that?

Well, do you actually own anything if the government can tell you who you can sell it to and what it is worth? Not really.

Rent control, telling property owners what they must charge for their property, is socialism in one of its more NDP pernicious forms: fake compassion for the less fortunate, with a side helping of class war.

Thanks to Liberal-NDP policies, owning property is more expensive than ever. Carbon tax is increasing again on April 1 to $80/tonne, meaning utilities are going up.

Mortgage rates are on the rise, and Canadian mortgage holders are facing the fastest and largest increase in rates in the last 40 years.

Property taxes are going up all over Alberta, with Calgary up 8% and Edmonton up 7%.

Inflation and affordability are at crisis levels.

So what do you think will happen if the NDP gets their way and tells homeowner landlords they have to eat those costs?

I mean, landlords can only absorb them for so long until they get out of owning the rental property, maybe sell it to a house-flipper Liberal MP like Taleeb Noormohamed, whose predatory behavior drives up the cost of homeownership for everyone else.

There are plenty of examples of rent control going very wrong, creating slums, collapsing the rental supply, and driving away developers of large-scale rental projects.

A study in Ireland by economist Jim Power found that: “rent pressure zones (RPZs), introduced in 2016 to limit rent price increases, have resulted in significant "rent rigidities" and an inefficient two-tier system where the proper maintenance of rental properties is no longer economically viable.

This has prompted many smaller landlords to exit the market and to be replaced by institutional landlords with new stock at higher rents.

A 2018 study on rent control in San Francisco found that:

"Leveraging new data tracking individuals’ migration, we find rent control increased renters’ probabilities of staying at their addresses by nearly 20%. Landlords treated by rent control reduced rental housing supply by 15%, causing a 5.1% city-wide rent increase."

And Jeremy Kronick from the CD Howe Institute notes that:

“Developers who are debating whether to build condos or purpose-built rentals will choose the former where there is no cap on the degree to which they can gain from their investment. Or they will not build”

Downtown Edmonton has got it's got its fair share of human suffering and misery with the homeless population there recently. The current conservative government is doing its best to make it better, through access to treatment beds and dismantling the homeless encampments.

The NDP's ideas will make it worse, by driving away potential landlords, and developers, like socialist scarecrows standing out in a recently rezoned residential development field.

Rent control, in the end, hurts everyone, including those it's been prescribed to help. That's because it's not about helping the poor, it's about controlling the people. You'll own nothing and be happy, and if you aren't and complain too loudly, you can go to jail for a hate crime.

Every communist needs to figure out what to do with the kulaks, the pesky landowning peasant class.

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  • By Ezra Levant

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