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Community Services Minister Richard Mostyn and Opposition Leader Currie Dixon

Mechanism for rent caps plan remains unclear

The rent caps the Yukon government has slated to come into effect on Saturday remain a mystery.

By Whitehorse Star on May 13, 2021

The rent caps the Yukon government has slated to come into effect on Saturday remain a mystery.

On Wednesday afternoon, even after pointed questions in the legislature and more from reporters interviewing Community Services Minister Richard Mostyn, the details on the caps’ implementation are far from clear.

Mostyn said the Liberal cabinet is still discussing how the program, which is part of the accord the Liberals have struck with the NDP to form a stable government, will work and how it will be authorized.

He expects to bring a proposal to his cabinet colleagues Friday.

“We know that housing is in high demand in the territory.” he said.

“We know that prices are going up. We know that rental units are in short supply.

“Yukoners wanted us to act together to address the housing issue in the territory and so we’re doing it,” Mostyn added.

“There’s not just one solution; there are many solutions. We have to address it. The question is how to implement it.”

Mostyn said the government doesn’t have the time to legislate the program before Saturday’s deadline but he didn’t seem concerned by that.

“We’re going to explore and we’re still working with our NDP colleagues on it. This is how minority government works now. It’s just how does it look and how will we do that?”

Mostyn said the government remains committed to having something in place by Saturday.

“We don’t need legislation to do it. We’re looking at many options, and none of them have been presented to cabinet yet.

“I’m going to wait until we have cabinet approval before saying more of it.”

He said the details of the program are simple and have been available to the public for two weeks.

Rental increases will be limited to one per cent this year, a figure that will be reviewed in 2022 and likely tied to the inflation rate.

Since landlords have to provide three months’ notice of any raise to tenants, the rent controls are effective backdated to Feb. 15.

The plan would end when the Liberal-NDP agreement expires in January 2023.

Mostyn said there’s a small window of opportunity for landlords to squeeze in an increase before Saturday, but it was unclear how that would work with the agreement being retroactive.

“Rent increases brought in between May 1 and 14 would likely be fair game,” Mostyn said.

That’s presuming the three months’ notice was provided.

Mostyn said the issue of how to bring in the rent caps is being slowed down a little by the need to constantly consult the NDP under the terms of the accord.

“It’s just the way things are now,” he said. “It’s going to take more time.”

The Yukon Party is continuing to protest the lack of details on the plan.

On Wednesday, Opposition Leader Currie Dixon tried to introduce an urgent motion asking for the plan to be delayed. The motion required unanimous consent of all MLAs – which didn’t occur.

He repeated his concerns, as he has for almost two weeks, about the lack of details about the rent caps, and how it’s causing mass confusion in the public amongst landlords and tenants.

After question period, he told reporters he knows of at least 100 rental units that have been taken off the market due to the concerns over the plan.

He continued to insist the public needed to be told how the system will work.

“It was unfortunate that the Liberals and the NDP announced this policy without first consulting or researching how it would impact the housing market in the territory,” he said in a statement.

“This action by their coalition to shut down debate on the issue of rent control and their refusal to consult and mitigate the negative impacts on renters and landlords before this policy is implemented is disappointing.”

The move also contradicts comments made to NDP Leader Kate White from former deputy premier Ranj Pillai, Dixon noted.

Pillai “told the leader of the third party last fall when she brought forward a motion on rent control that proper consultation was needed before such a policy could be put in place,” Dixon recalled.

The Yukon Party launched its own consultation process on May 6 “once it became evident tenants and landlords would not be heard before rent control takes effect on May 15,” Dixon said.

Those looking to provide comments can email consultation@yukonparty.ca.

Comments (22)

Up 0 Down 0

Yukoner2 on May 19, 2021 at 8:50 pm

Of course you will vote YP, Joe. 90% of the people who comment here vote YP every election. This is why they can afford to ignore their supporters. They know that people like you will never vote for anyone else. That's why they went out of their way last election to steal voters away from the NDP and Liberals instead. You will vote for them no matter what policies they promise or what scandals they become embroiled in.

Up 5 Down 3

Joe on May 18, 2021 at 10:05 pm

Call an election, I’ll vote YP.

Up 22 Down 4

TheHammer on May 14, 2021 at 3:24 pm

YHC has just jacked up their rent at the seniors residences. Is this a preemptive strike against the cap equivalent to insider trading?

Up 9 Down 42

too greedy on May 14, 2021 at 1:48 pm

Sooooooo many fake landlords crawling out of the woodwork claiming to be poor all of a sudden.
This legislation is to claw back your greed. I suggest you sell your 'rentals' and help correct the housing markets

Up 29 Down 6

Wilf Carter on May 14, 2021 at 1:34 pm

So how is NDP going to cap costs going up like Feds putting carbon tax on fuel?
Liberals increasing energy cost highest ever in Yukon history.
Insurance going up because of the value of rental homes are increasing,
Hardware and building supplies up by 45% according to sellers.
City of Whitehorse increasing taxes by over 2% a year plus cost of services are up by 4 to 6%.
NDP and liberals are going to cap all these expenses?
Liberals have done everything possible to destroy our economy and now NDP is supporting that.
Recession is just one step away.

Up 23 Down 3

Groucho d'North on May 14, 2021 at 10:48 am

@Good Intentions, Bad Policy!
Whatever are you suggesting? If the public voices their displeasure with something government is doing what could that lead to?
There are agendas to be met, minds to be changed, budgets to be spent and no amount of inpuit from the electorate shall alter the plans made in secret cabals to maintain power and control over the tax payers who create the wealth those politcians spend. Orwell had it right.

Up 39 Down 3

landlord 101 on May 14, 2021 at 9:57 am

I have been a landlord for 23 years. I have had it. I have got rid of tenants and retiring from being a landlord. All damaged properties have been repaired.

Up 7 Down 24

CaptainObvious on May 14, 2021 at 8:03 am

It's part of the cost of working together as Yukon voters demanded. Suck it up. Landlords can probably still hike rents when tenants turn-over or when the suite description has changed.

Up 31 Down 7

whitehorselandlord on May 14, 2021 at 7:58 am

So will this be a legal requirement or policy? I've never heard of YTG ever drafting legislation this quickly. If it's just policy, well stick it Yukon government.
With this in place, I'm selling my rental properties for as much as I can. My two properties are rented with utilities, but power and fuel are not tied to inflation, so when those rates go up, I'm out of pocket. I'm guessing little Kate never considered that, but she's a baker so what do you expect.

Up 42 Down 7

YT on May 14, 2021 at 7:51 am

This is all fine for someone like Kate who collects her nice fat Yukon government salary, but for those of us who depend on rental income to support us, too bad I guess. You can tell Kates never been a landlord. There is no longer any incentive for Yukon landlords to provide quality rental units. Might as well be a slumlord. Thanks Kate and Sandy.

Up 30 Down 4

CJ2 on May 13, 2021 at 11:46 pm

Wow. They spent more time considering daylight savings, which seemed to come out of the blue (and which I hate, by the way).

Richard Mostyn on CBC this morning was remarkable. I don't think I've ever heard a minister virtually admit he knew the proposed regulation is problematic and that it's the outcome of a negotiation with the NDP. He sounded unusually non-combative.

Up 22 Down 4

Good Intentions, Bad Policy! on May 13, 2021 at 9:47 pm

Posting again for those in the back....

I think the NDP had good intentions when they managed to secure this rent cap from the Liberals who have always opposed it, but in the end it will have the opposite affect from what they were hoping for. This policy will result in much fewer rentals being available in Whitehorse and some people will be forced to leave the territory as a result. They will simply have nowhere else to go. Also, (and I can testify to this since my rent was just raised a few days ago) rents will be raised every single year to the maximum allowed so that landlords can protect themselves from future increases to all sorts of things out of their control. It will also mean landlords will have less money to put into upkeeping their units and so the quality of our rental stock, which already isn't great, will go lower and lower. We will end up with stereotypical ghettos downtown. This might sound 'over-the-top' but just wait and see a few years down the road.

So keeping all of this in mind, I encourage everyone who is evicted or has their rent raised on them to let Kate White and the NDP know what has happened. The Liberals would probably be happy to reverse this policy given their history so we just need to get through to Kate White just how damaging this policy is. I can't see any other way around this. So please either email or phone (or both) Kate White and the NDP and ask them to reverse their position.

Email: yukon@ndp.ca
Phone 668-2203 (NDP office)
Standard Mail: P.O. Box 31516, Whitehorse, Yukon, Y1A 6K8.

Please pass the word on and let's show them the sheer number of people and families who are being negatively impacted by this rent cap policy!

Up 2 Down 15

Marcel Gareau on May 13, 2021 at 7:41 pm

Plenty to rent. Suite vacant and houses empty by choice. Lots of adds looking/wanted to rent. When both parties are earning easy 120K/year, logically rentals at 1,900.00+or- is fair and reasonable. Rent in Yukon is much lower than other places on earth, + in $CA. We all have our markets and we live by our choices.

Up 20 Down 2

politics on May 13, 2021 at 7:02 pm


The two also clashed on rent controls. The NDP has promised to introduce a rent freeze if it’s elected next Monday. Mostyn said he’s seriously concerned about that concept.

“The best way to tackle the housing issue is by addressing the supply problem,” he said.
Landlords, he added, would be quick to sell off their rental properties under a rent control regime, creating a more serious housing shortage.

“In two years, we will be in a crisis,” he said.

Up 17 Down 5

Landlord on May 13, 2021 at 6:42 pm

Re Max Mack, yeah good luck with that. From what I've heard dozens of landlords issued notices of rental increases after this was announced for 3 months down the road. If the gov says this is back dated, many of those will go to court. While I can't say who would win that given that the notices were legal at the time they were issued, the mere fact that the gov would take landlords to court over it is going to cause an even further drag on new rental units coming into the market, which is going to make the situation even worse then what it currently is.

The sad thing is how much this policy is loved by those who will be most negatively impacted by it. Oh well, their problem - at least until we can get a YP government into power to come in and clean up the Liberals & NDP mess.

Up 24 Down 4

My opinion on May 13, 2021 at 5:30 pm

Well I will tell you what is going to happen Mr. Mostyn. You may be able to force this though, but what you cannot do is force people to be Landlords. Houses are at a Huge premium on the market right now. Landlords will sell on mass. Why would they rent when they can make a ton by selling with no hassles. You Liberals and NDP haven't a clue.

Up 13 Down 5

Nathan Living on May 13, 2021 at 5:07 pm

Woke policy for sure.

Better to subsidize rent for low income people.

Up 19 Down 4

BnR on May 13, 2021 at 5:05 pm

I’m assuming the whole rent cap plan will be as per the NDippers campaign platform, that is, tied to inflation?
This is a friggin stupid idea, but I guess that’s the NDipper MO.
What if a rental owner makes major upgrades, renovations to provide a nicer accommodation? Too bad landlord, Kate wants you to subsidize tenants. All this will do is encourage landlords to do as little as possible with respect to maintenance and upgrades. Another ill conceived and poorly executed NDP plan, akin to the idea to tax out of territory workers when we already rely on out of territory workers largess via transfer payments.
Can’t believe the Libs fell for this, well, maybe I can.
Kate White For Baker bumper stickers anyone?

Up 63 Down 5

Pierre on May 13, 2021 at 4:57 pm

@bill....I’ve been a landlord for 15 years and have been in consultation with landlords over those years....they and I have never evicted without cause although it’s in the legislation...why you ask? Because there is always a cause. Tenants are income, to evict without cause is financial stupidity.

Up 65 Down 12

Max Mack on May 13, 2021 at 3:46 pm

"Since landlords have to provide three months’ notice of any raise to tenants, the rent controls are effective backdated to Feb. 15."

This is a monumentally bad policy move to begin with, but now Silver & co. are openly admitting that they will retroactively impose new standards.

Simply wow.

Up 13 Down 48

Bill on May 13, 2021 at 3:11 pm

There is big fear that there will be mass evictions. The Yukon is the only jurisdiction that allows landlords to evict tenants without cause, if they eliminated that, evictions would not occur unless the landlord had cause.

Up 63 Down 14

JSM on May 13, 2021 at 2:56 pm

No surprise here. Rushing to faux solutions is exactly what the Lieberals are about. Greedy for power they are. Not surprised they agree to all these things just to hold on to a modicum of power.

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