Updates from March, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 23:34 on 2020-03-05 Permalink | Reply  

    Some owners of downtown condos have been handed hefty fines by Superior Court for renting their places on Airbnb – or even for renting their places conventionally to tenants who rent them out in turn on Airbnb.

    Maybe I’m thick, but I can’t make out from this story what the legal basis for these fines is.

    • Jim Royal 07:58 on 2020-03-06 Permalink

      I believe the issue here is that the property is an undivided co-ownership, although this is not fully spelled out in the article. The terms of the mortgages for such properties usually prohibit subletting.

    • Andrew 09:07 on 2020-03-06 Permalink

      I think it’s the same case as this one; same building, same amount. The fines would be spelled out in the co-ownership agreement, the case is just the condo association suing to collect.


    • Kate 11:07 on 2020-03-06 Permalink

      Thanks. It sounded like way more money than the government is willing to countenance.

    • TransitBuff 12:19 on 2020-03-06 Permalink

      It’s divided co-ownership (condo) and the building has a “declaration of co-ownership” which includes a règlement de l’immeuble (a by-law) giving the syndicate of co-ownership certain powers to collect things like condo fees and special assessments. The by-law probably gives the syndicate powers to fine owners who violate the by-law and the owners who received a fine for short-term renting out units probably challenged the legality of the syndicates power to fine and lost.

  • Kate 23:08 on 2020-03-05 Permalink | Reply  

    A third case of COVID-19 has been reported in Quebec in a person recently returned from France. The second case has been confirmed in a person who returned here from a trip to India.

    • Kate 21:41 on 2020-03-05 Permalink | Reply  

      A regular participant tells me he’s had a couple of comments vanish instead of posting, and he was worried I had banned him.

      In 18 years I have only had to exercise the banhammer three or four times. I have never done so without several warnings, and I would never stealth-ban anybody.

      Every so often the blog gets glitchy about accepting comments. My only suggestion for the moment is that if you have anything longer than a sentence or two to contribute, please compose it in a text editor and save it before pasting it into the comment box, so that you don’t lose your efforts.

      I appreciate all participation on this blog and I’m sorry I don’t know why it occasionally gets glitchy like this, but as soon as I can I will have a look under the hood and see what’s going on.

      • Blork 22:26 on 2020-03-05 Permalink

        Call me an old goat, but I’ve been commenting on blogs since comments became a thing (what’s that, like 2002?) and commenting on various pre-blog fora for half a dozen or so years before that. So I take it as second nature to always copy my comment to the computer’s clipboard before hitting “Reply.” By “always” I mean “almost always.” Sometimes I’m in a hurry and I don’t.

        I’ve only been bitten by the lost-comment glitch on this blog maybe five times, and every time it follows this pattern:

        -> Wake the computer from “sleep” and go to the blog in a tab that hasn’t been refreshed for a while. In the meantime, a bunch of other comments and posts have been made but they’re not showing, even though this blog has some kind of “push” thing that automatically refreshes it.

        -> Type the comment and hit “Reply” before the “auto refresh” thing has had a push its refresh.

        -> Result: existential three-way fist fight between (a) the un-refreshed blog, (b) my new comment, and (c) the refresh that’s trying to happen. Boom! Lost comment.

        Occasionally I’ve been able to recover it by hitting “Back.” Sometimes the stall is so long that I can see it coming and I can grab a screenshot before the page goes boom so at least I can re-type verbatim.

        But generally, for longer comments (like this one) I write it in a text editor and then copy/paste it over. For mobile, I have an iOS app called “Edit” that is nothing more than a one-page text scratchpad that works beautifully for this.

        BTW, I do this for all commenting (including FB), not just this blog.

      • Kate 22:28 on 2020-03-05 Permalink

        Blork, thanks for the analytical description. I may have to do something about how this WordPress installation handles caching, among other things.

      • dwgs 22:41 on 2020-03-05 Permalink

        When one of my comments gets hung up here I usually have time to copy the text then I hit refresh and paste it anew. When that happens it’s always the scenario Blork describes

      • Faiz Imam 23:06 on 2020-03-05 Permalink

        I’ve lost quite afew comments over the years, but at this point I should know better.

        My trick is once i’m done typing my comment, I select and copy it, so that at least its on the clipboard. Easy, quick.

      • denpanosekai 23:41 on 2020-03-05 Permalink

        ctrl+a, ctrl+c, “reply”

      • Ian 13:26 on 2020-03-06 Permalink

        Thanks for the heads-up, Kate. I use DB-Optimize on my WP installs when they start getting glitchy, might be worth a shot – after a complete backup of course haha

      • MarcG 16:52 on 2020-03-06 Permalink

        Sounds like a bug in the WP theme.

      • Kate 10:38 on 2020-03-07 Permalink

        It probably is. The theme is old and this blog is hanging at WP 4.99. At one point all the comments disappeared, and there have been other problems. Ideally I would start over with a fresh install and a newer theme, but I’m always too busy to give this task the solid two-three days it needs, and do it without risking the accrued content.

    • Kate 13:56 on 2020-03-05 Permalink | Reply  

      It will be next year before we see the reopening of Lafontaine Park’s Théâtre de la Verdure, which was closed down six years ago because of decrepitude.

      • Faiz imam 15:29 on 2020-03-05 Permalink

        Pictures look real good. With the shutdown of many other live venues it could end up getting quite a lot of use. It’s such a great location.

        Love the water in front of the stage.

    • Kate 09:00 on 2020-03-05 Permalink | Reply  

      Although Quebec made promises about mitigating the impact of work on the La Fontaine tunnel, the city finds the planning too skimpy and too late. Eventually Montreal city hall is going to have to come to terms with the fact that Quebec’s transport ministry is always going to sashay in and do what it likes, and leave the city to cope with the consequences. It’s what always happens.

      • Francesco 09:40 on 2020-03-05 Permalink

        I dunno, seems Plante/Ferrandez were ecstatic when the MTQ helped them put the kibosh on the Cap-Nature project in Pierrefonds by sashaying in and announcing there simply won’t be a boulevard in the 440 ROW.

      • Kate 10:38 on 2020-03-05 Permalink

        Obviously even the MTQ occasionally makes decisions that are beneficial to city hall’s plans. Basically, the needs of the city don’t have to concern it, and it’s not interested in making things easier on the municipal level (they were no more considerate to Tremblay or Coderre than they have been to Plante).

    • Kate 08:34 on 2020-03-05 Permalink | Reply  

      As we’ve been saying in comments here, there’s no point in passing laws you can’t enforce. So when the city says it won’t be hiring more inspectors to check out illegal Airbnbs, and they’re relying on Revenu Québec to lower the boom, it’s discouraging. Among other things, RQ doesn’t feel it’s part of its job to enforce bylaws about where Airbnbs can operate in any borough.

      Why is RQ not its usual rapacious self when faced with Airbnb? Anyone have a theory?

      But re the inspectors, in boroughs with delimited Airbnb zones, you don’t need to send out a lot of guys in cars. You need someone to go through the website, make a list of offerings illegal in their locations, and send out mises en demeure. Two weeks later, if they have not taken down their listings, then you go around with padlocks.

      • Spi 09:01 on 2020-03-05 Permalink

        Possibly because Airbnb is a significant local employer through their purchase of luxury retreats several years back? They’re even in the process of building new offices on the southside of the Lachine Canal.

      • Craig Sauvé 09:08 on 2020-03-05 Permalink

        Hi! The municipal fines are very low (2,500$), whereas provincial fines are up to 25,000$ a pop.

        Also, an inspector’s role in giving fines is unclear (do have they have to spend the night, or can they write up a fine from a distance), despite a recent ruling; whereas RevQ inspectors can apply fines rather easily.

      • Chris 12:27 on 2020-03-05 Permalink

        >there’s no point in passing laws you can’t enforce

        Sure there is. It lets you say to one constituency: look, we’re doing something! While saying to the other: don’t worry, we’re doing nothing. Also, it’s not that they _can’t_ enforce, it’s that they _don’t_.

        My theory is the government sees it this way: lots of people use Airbnb and love it. (That much is indisputable). Those who rent out their place like it. Visitors like it. It maybe brings in more tourists. The only people who don’t like it are: hoteliers, and renters. For the former, well, they are few, and anyway business competition is religion. For renters, well, they are poor and powerless, so screw them anyway.

      • Kate 13:59 on 2020-03-05 Permalink

        they are poor and powerless, so screw them anyway.

        Maybe so, but the housing crisis is a big problem, here and elsewhere, and politicians can’t neglect it completely. It’s hollowing cities out.

      • Ian 18:22 on 2020-03-05 Permalink

        Yes, but as Chris points out, this debate about whether it’s municipal or provincial jursidiction allows PM, especially Richard Ryan to go on at length about all the hard work they are doing to fight AirBnB without actually enforcing anything and the province, especially RQ, to go on at length about how they have everything under control… so both parties can claim to be “addressing the problems” and can also say “our hands are tied”.

        But Kate, to your original question:
        “Why is RQ not its usual rapacious self when faced with Airbnb? Anyone have a theory?”

        Yes. Someone is on the take, big. This is Quebec. When someone claims their hands are tied, they are getting paid off. Always. As anyone who has ever dealt with the city or RQ knows, if they are really after you, they will find something. It’s like if you get stopped by a cop, there’s always something they can give you a ticket for. That nobody is doing anything speaks volumes. AirBnB is a very, very wealthy company that has already been outright banned in many cities around the world. Of course they don’t want that to happen in Montreal.

      • Joey 09:49 on 2020-03-06 Permalink

        Revenu Quebec’s timidity on this file is not in keeping with their approach to literally everything else. Case in point: https://www.lapresse.ca/affaires/202002/27/01-5262681-linacceptable-marchandage-de-revenu-quebec.php

      • Ephraim 12:59 on 2020-03-06 Permalink

        Hey, if RQ will give me half the fine money, I’ll work for them for free… all they have to do is prosecute. I’ll just run around town and make reservations on illegals for 4 days, send in the information and collect $5K per pop. No outlay for inspectors at all.

    • Kate 08:19 on 2020-03-05 Permalink | Reply  

      A second probable case of COVID-19 in Quebec was announced Thursday morning, but there’s nothing about the patient and only that they had returned from “abroad.” This is only a day after the health minister’s reassurance that risk is low here (but avoid handshakes and cheek‑kissing, all the same).

      The military are making plans for a pandemic.

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