“No” – Government dismisses Airbnb request to bail out hosts in Canada with one word


That’s the Government of Canada’s one-word response to Airbnb’s request to bail out hosts who are struggling to survive amid cancellations brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parliamentary Secretary for Housing and Member of Parliament for Spadina—Fort York Adam Vaughan tweeted out the response to Airbnb’s request yesterday.

Airbnb had spent the last decade ruthlessly going after all levels of government to remove or water down housing rules that stand in the way of long term rental units being turned into irregular hotels and hosts had labelled government attempts to regulate short term rentals as “big government” trampling on “individual property rights”.

But as bookings collapse amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Airbnb Canada’s public policy director Alex Dagg wrote a letter to Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland asking for government handouts to “regular Canadians who share their homes to earn extra income.”

Airbnb had asked the government to make employment benefits available to Airbnb hosts, defer sales taxes for short term rentals and to defer income taxes for Airbnb hosts.

Airbnb’s request was met with widespread anger and derision.

“The predators at AirBNB do not deserve a bailout,” Tweeted housing market data analyst Stephen Punwasi. “AirBNB didn’t even respect the laws in place during the housing crisis. Now they want a bailout?”

Others didn’t mince their words.

“Airbnb Hosts can F-OFF!” tweeted Vancouver actor Steve Oatway. “I hope every one of them suffers from huge financial losses after what they did to our cities.”