(File photo)

LETTERS: Banning short-term rentals is government overreach

Re: Sidney councillor calls for ban of all short-term rentals.

Where do I start? This is not only prejudicial to the residential taxpayers but is a perfect example of government overreach and is extremely unethical. To favour one industry over another, that being the cottage industry of short-term rentals, is blatantly biased, notwithstanding the fact that it very likely runs afoul of the Competition Act of Canada relative to the prevention of abuse of market power.

To both Coun. Wainwright and Coun. Duncan, I would simply ask how it is that providing choice in accommodation type to suit the needs of all travellers slows the recovery of the tourism industry in Sidney, and who are you to say that any short-term rental is not hygienic and/or clean?

Please explain to me how staying in a hotel is safer than staying in a short-term rental. Also, since when have bylaw officers been deemed to be hygiene police, and what qualifications do the bylaw officers have to perform these new duties as hotel hygiene inspectors.

The last time I checked, the consumer decides where they would like to stay, where they would like to shop, what they want to spend their hard-earned money on, and they need no direction from municipal governments, or anyone else for that matter, in order to make those decisions.

It is bad enough that this council gave a property tax break to the business property owners this year with no guarantee whatsoever that they would pass on any of those benefits to their business tenants. And if there were assurances, what measures are in place to ensure that this actually happened?

It certainly appears that this council does not respect the rights of the largest income generator to the Town that being the residential taxpayer.

It is not up to any municipal government to determine which businesses succeed or fail, and it certainly is not ethical to ensure the failure of any business in favour of another, which is precisely what this ban will accomplish.

Debra Jones


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