Canada’s housing minister Ahmed Hussen was asked this week about how much a one bedroom rental goes for in Kelowna, BC, and his immediate response was to say, “It doesn’t matter.”
“What is the average rent for a one bedroom apartment in Kelowna, British Columbia?” Kelowna–Lake Country MP Tracy Gray asked Hussen in the House of Commons.
“Madam Chair, it doesn’t matter because the Honourable Member believes we should do less on housing,” Hussen replied to the Conservative MP.
Hussen couldn’t even conjure up some faux empathy and offer a canned response about how rental rates across the country are unaffordable and not in line with current salaries – he could only offer indifference and deflection.
“Madam Chair, it does matter to people in Kelowna, British Columbia how much rent is and it’s $1,952,” Gray stated.
Gray followed up by asking Hussen about the going rate for a one bedroom apartment in Vancouver, but Hussen apparently did not know the answer, which is $2,787. Vancouver is the country’s most unaffordable rental market.
“The housing minister doesn’t know his file, and he isn’t even trying,” said Gray.
A few weeks ago, Hussen quietly bought his second rental property in Ottawa. In addition to being the minister that sets the country’s housing policy, Hussen moonlights as a landlord profiting from the market he oversees.
As a landlord making money off of rental properties, it’s not hard to see why Hussen remains unbothered by Canada’s continually increasing rental prices.
“I predict the average price for a one bedroom in Toronto to rise above $3,000 by 2030,” Marco Pedri, real estate broker at Shoreline Realty Corp. Brokerage, recently told BNN Bloomberg.
“People see that number and find it impossible to believe, but just 10 years ago the thought of an average bedroom going for over $2,000 was unfathomable — and yet here we are.”