Andrea Hazell isn't sweating the competition
And "Nate Erskine-Landlord"
ABOVE THE FOLD
I caught up with the Liberal candidate hoping to hang on to Guildwood in tomorrow’s byelection — but first: wannabe Grit captain NATE ERSKINE-SMITH is under fire for having a landlord in the family.
First in Observer — LANDLORD WOES — Per MP disclosures, Erskine-Smith’s spouse has listed the sole ownership of a rental property on Fisher Line in Camlachie as an asset and source of income. Erskine-Smith explained it’s the family home of his partner, Toronto chef AMY SYMINGTON.
“It’s a house that she grew up in and she wanted to keep it in the family, so that’s about that. If it was an investment property, I don’t think my wife would have looked at Camlachie first,” he said.
It’s not unusual for politicians to be landlords. A bunch of MPPs list rental income as their side hustles in their annual disclosures.
But in the midst of a housing crisis, some politicians — including federal Conservative Leader PIERRE POILIEVRE — are taking heat for having rental properties, something economic experts say is contributing to the problem.
Erskine-Smith denied his situation is exacerbating matters. “There’s a family that is living in there that wouldn’t be able to afford to buy it, but is able to afford to rent it.”
Still, some Liberals aren’t buying it. One senior Grit called it “hypocritical” since Erskine-Smith’s own policy proposal states that housing should be treated as a home first and an investment second.
“We should call him Nate Erskine-Landlord,” they said. “He says in his own platform that housing as investment should be secondary while he does exactly that. The hypocrisy is staggering…There are many families who can afford to buy, but can’t. They are choosing to be a landlord.”
Erskine-Smith doesn’t see it that way. “The real challenge when you look at treating properties as investment, is you see a massive amount of investors that are entering the resale residential marketplace and are driving up demand but not adding supply. I don’t think, if you extrapolate out the circumstances — my wife who is buying the home she grew up in for sentimental reasons and keeping it in the family — that you’re going to contribute to serious demand across the province.”
Meanwhile: Erskine-Smith launched his climate platform Tuesday, flanked by ex-Environment Minister CATHERINE McKENNA and his MPP counterpart in Beaches-East York MARY-MARGARET McMAHON. TVO digs in.
Speaking of Liberal leadership contenders making policy proposals: YASIR NAQVI launched a three-point plan to deal with mental health.