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This isn't exactly a local story, but it does show how an issue we're facing here is being dealt with elsewhere. It comes from Canada, and how the federal government up north is actively examining options to crack down on short-term rentals. CTV News reports Canadian Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said they're looking at how to help provinces return short-term rentals to the long-term market and increase housing stock across Canada. That after the government in British Columbia earlier this week announced its own legislation to make changes to the short-term rental market, something Freeland called in her words “a positive and important step in the right direction, in an area of provincial jurisdiction.”

The B.C. Province's Short-Term Accommodations Act will triple the fines for hosts who break the rules, and implement other new requirements for operators, in an attempt to return existing short-term rentals to the long-term market. According to the B.C. government, there are currently about 28,000 short-term rentals across the province, a significant percentage of which are run by for-profit operators as opposed to residents renting out their own homes or vacation properties.

Across Canada, Freeland said, it is estimated that returning short-term rentals to the long-term market in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver alone could free up about 30,000 units. She said that while housing largely falls within provincial jurisdiction, the housing shortage issue in Canada is “so important” that the federal government is examining any possible “tools” within its jurisdiction “that would make a difference.”

Further details on the Canadian government’s plans will be released in the coming weeks. There's probably nothing in the plans up north that could be used here, but it's interesting to see how other jurisdictions are looking at short-term rentals.

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