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Councillors headed to Victoria to state case for opting out of short-term rental legislation

Brian Skakun is seeking his sixth term on city council.
Coun. Brian Skakun

Prince George city council is hoping for a face-to-face meeting with Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon.

The topic will be the city’s desire to opt-out of the recent short-term rental legislation enacted by Victoria. The new act limits short-term rentals to a host’s principal residence. The act will take precedence over all local regulations and the most notable changes will come into effect on May 1, 2024.

The city has already requested to opt out of the legislation. However, in a March 18 letter to Mayor Simon Yu, Kahlon said Prince George does not meet the criteria that requires a minimum three per cent rental vacancy rate in two consecutive years. He quoted Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation stats, which put the city’s vacancy rate at 2.8 per cent.

City councillors Brian Skakun, Garth Frizzell, Kyle Sampson, and Susan Scott, along with city manager Walter Babicz, will be in Victoria April 9-11 on an advocacy trip and hope to stress the city’s case for exclusion directly to the minister at that time.

According to the act, owners of short-term rentals have until May 1 to comply or risk fines of up to $3,000 per day.

Later this year or early in 2025 the province plans to establish a registry of short-term rental properties. Each host will be required to register with the province and include that registry number on their listing and platforms will be required to validate the registration numbers so they comply with the information included in the registry.


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