A dynamic that often plays out in elections, big or small, is that those seeking the top job have the advantage of a relatively shorter record they have to account for, while those who hold the jobs they are trying to take have a much longer record of actions that can be targetted at will.

The latest example of that came last week when Pierre Poilievre, the Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada seeking to replace Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, took aim at a different sitting politician: BC Premier David Eby.

At a press conference in Kitchener, Ontario on February 21, Poilievre was set to speak on cost-of-living issues and the ArriveCan app controversy, but launched a shot at Eby less than a minute into his remarks.

Poilievre began by pointing out that in the city where the press conference was being held, Kitchener, a two-bedroom home costs more than "a castle in Sweden on a lake," chalking up that lack of affordability to Justin Trudeau.

"After eight years of Justin Trudeau and the NPD, housing costs have doubled across Canada," said Poilievre. "In fact, the average rent has doubled, the average mortgage payment has more than doubled, and the needed down payment for the average home has doubled."

He then blamed Trudeau for inflation and connected images he saw of overcrowded food banks to those from the Great Depression, before bringing up Trudeau's recent meeting with Eby as another demerit against the Prime Minister.

"Yesterday, he joined with NDP Premier from BC, who is [sic] probably the worst housing record of any politician on Earth. Literally. Look at the prices. Vancouver is now the third-most expensive housing market in the word — comparing median income to median house prices. Check it on demographia.ca for yourself."

(Fact check: According to Demographia's 2023 International Housing Affordability report, this is true, as Vancouver is third after Hong Kong and Sydney, but the website is demographia.com, not demographia.ca.)

Poilievre then went on to attribute those high housing costs to Trudeau and the NPD inducing inflation by printing money, subsequently halting construction with bureaucracy and taxes, before moving on to ArriveCan app controversy.

Trudeau was in British Columbia on February 20 to announce that the Government of Canada will contribute $2B in additional financing towards the Province's new BC Builds program, which launched the week prior and has the goal of building housing that is affordable to middle-income earners.

The BC Builds program is one of the biggest items Eby first proposed during his election campaign in Fall 2022. Many of the actions Eby said he would take once elected are now already underway — although their effects on housing affordability remain to be seen — including launching the Rental Protection Fund, creating a one-stop shop for provincial permits, introducing housing supply targets for municipal governments, and taking on short-term rentals.

The next provincial election in BC is scheduled for October 19, 2024, while the next federal election will likely be held in October 2025.