The apartment in Calgary Im staying in has issued notice to renters that the rent will be increased by $200/month. There are 30 units which adds up to $6000/mth or $72,000/year. Considering that the apartments expenses haven't gone up (no mill rate hike) and natural gas prices are actually falling, one is left understanding that the increase is a function of demand. They get $72,000 extra a year because there's no other place to stay, so people will be forced to pay.
While I'm generally a supporter as well as a beneficiary of our supply and demand system, our society has deemed that certain goods and services be tempered from raw market forces. Education, health etc. are subsidized because we believe it is in the public good for them to be affordable. In a solemn moment of reflection, it seems really absurd how acceptable and commonplace it is too make whatever profit one can from other people's necessity to have a roof over their head. Its true, owning an apartment over the long term has risks of vacancy and risk should be rewarded, but I really resent such grotesque gauging on such a basic need. Calgary is suffering for skilled labour because there is no place to live and hence people can't move here or afford to move here causing cyclical dilemmas.
I hope these landlords die early and in painful ways. Its a fate better than they deserve.