Only a week after Premier Ed Stelmach ruled out using rent control to deal with the skyrocketing cost of housing and then changed his mind, PC Party delegates forced Stelmach to change his position another 180 degrees to turn against the use of rent control (again):
In the [PC] party’s annual general meeting, delegates rejected a motion to adopt the resolutions of an all-party legislature committee that had urged Premier Ed Stelmach’s Tory government to adopt rent controls.
Meanwhile, as Stelmach continues to not act on the issue, it seems like Albertans are being left to dry in a climate of skyrocketing rent costs.
Alberta Liberal Leader Kevin Taft has been continuing to hammer the Stelmach Tories on the issue.
Liberal Leader Kevin Taft says both Premier Ed Stelmach and Housing Minister Ray Danyluk got farm support payments last year.
Taft says its ironic that they take farm support cheques but wont help people struggling with soaring housing costs by imposing rent controls.
He says some Albertans are being forced to sleep in their cars and trucks because soaring rents and a shortage of housing.
“It’s very misguided,” Phair said. “There are many people who rent across the province who will be quite disappointed that the [PC] party didn’t take a different course of action.”
“I think it’s indicative of the fact that the grassroots of the Tory party doesn’t have the best interests of low-income people in mind,” he said.
It seems that the Stelmach Tories have found themselves squarely on the wrong side of an explosive issue.
As someone who presented recommendations to the Affordable Housing Task Force earlier this year, it’s disappointing to see that the Provincial government hasn’t taken a strong leadership role on the issue.