Updates from March, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:03 on 2023-03-19 Permalink | Reply  

    A comment has just been made to a post from last November by the person referenced in the post. Odds are nobody would see it now if I didn’t mention it here – it’s not that I think it’s a crucial comment so much as that, if the subject of a post speaks up, they should have their say.

    • Kate 19:53 on 2023-03-19 Permalink | Reply  

      Photos of Sunday’s parade from La Presse and from TVA. Chief reviewing officer Sterling Downey says they’re already making big plans for the 200th annual parade in 2025.

      • Kate 12:43 on 2023-03-19 Permalink | Reply  

        The city’s going to put in a system of electric scooters this summer, but only over in Parc Jean‑Drapeau.

        • Kate 10:59 on 2023-03-19 Permalink | Reply  

          A man was found seriously injured near the railway line in Point St Charles early Saturday, and then he died. Cops are investigating whether he was hit by a train or whether the injuries are from some other cause.

          • Kate 10:16 on 2023-03-19 Permalink | Reply  

            La Presse tried using ChatGPT as a guide to the city. Although it makes a few errors, its advice is no worse than the average tourism piece written to order by a remote human writer.

            • Kate 10:01 on 2023-03-19 Permalink | Reply  

              Old Montreal is full of Airbnb apartments that are illegal there. As crisply summed up here by La Presse’s Isabelle Ducas: “The city doesn’t do inspections to enforce its regulations on tourist residences, relying on the Government of Quebec, whose inspectors do not have the mandate to apply municipal regulations.” Now that people have died because of this gap maybe things will change.

              Update: Accusations are flying about the inertia of both city and province over illegal Airbnbs.

              • steph 10:11 on 2023-03-19 Permalink

                but they ARE enforcing the provincial regulations… right?

              • Kate 10:29 on 2023-03-19 Permalink

                The provincial regulations are about tax, so I assume they do enforce, but I don’t know. I don’t even know whether Quebec cares enough to visit the premises.

              • shawn 10:51 on 2023-03-19 Permalink

                Easy for me to say as a Plateau dweller I guess but it seems to me that if there is any district that should have lots of tourist residences it’s Old Montreal. But not unregulated.

              • Kate 11:02 on 2023-03-19 Permalink

                And definitely not uninspected. If you’re going to run a hotel in an older building, it’s got to have smoke and fire alarms and sufficient exits.

              • shawn 11:07 on 2023-03-19 Permalink

                Though I’m wrong to say tourist residences maybe because the one thing that strikes me as I read about the one victim whose father was interviewed was that they are from the area. So more a short-term sublet situation.

              • shawn 11:10 on 2023-03-19 Permalink

                Right and we’ve got the two levels of government passing the buck and refusing to inspect and enforce existing regulations, and the owner through his lawyer claiming he was not doing short-term rentals it was his tenants… Who if anyone will be held responsible.

              • Meezly 11:23 on 2023-03-19 Permalink

                Soon after Vancouver set up a licensing system for AirBnB rentals (in 2017!!), the city also expanded its enforcement system, including a dedicated enforcement coordinator and extra inspectors to support auditing inspections and complaints.

                Of course, the system isn’t perfect and there are still lots of loopholes that can be exploited, but there hasn’t been several occupants who’ve died from a raging preventable fire in an illegal AirBnB rental.

                There have been so many complaints related to illegal AirBnBs. I’m also thinking of the resources spent on police efforts investigating the shooting at the AirBnB rental on my street in January. All my neighbours were saying the same thing when police went door to door for their interviews: something has to be done about illegal AirBnBs, which have had detrimental effects on the well-being of our neighbourhood.

                Maybe now that the city has at least 7 deaths to contend with, they’ll finally do something concrete.

              • DeWolf 12:12 on 2023-03-19 Permalink

                Vancouver’s approach is clearly quite successful, because when you take a look at its offering on Airbnb, there’s virtually nothing except a few random luxury properties that cost an absolute fortune (and are probably booked for parties and/or film shoots).

                The answer given by Revenu Quebec is a dodge. The city’s regulations stipulate that tourist residences are illegal, and tourist residences are provincial jurisdiction, so what does it matter that they were made illegal by the city and not the province? If they’re unlicensed, they’re unlicensed.

                Of course there’s another question: is Montreal able to set up its own squad of inspectors, or are its hands tied by the province? If it’s the former then it needs to get its act together very quickly, but if it’s the latter, the province (as usual) is screwing over Montreal. Especially mystifying when there are hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines that could be recouped.

              • DeWolf 12:14 on 2023-03-19 Permalink

                @shawn My impression is that the place was used for parties. A previous article in La Presse quoted neighbours as saying there was constant noise and even gunshots. Which would explain why it was apparently a bunch of 18-year-olds staying there when the fire broke out.

              • DeWolf 12:21 on 2023-03-19 Permalink

                Correction: I should say millions of dollars, not hundreds of thousands. The little infobox at the end of the article states that Revenu Québec has already levied $4.9 million in fines in the past year alone, from just 1205 illegal listings. La Presse notes there are 14,000 active listings in Montreal alone. Imagine if they stepped up enforcement to actually eliminate the problem…

              • Ephraim 12:37 on 2023-03-19 Permalink

                And magically, AirBnB requires you to list your licence when you list in YVR. And if you don’t have one, the city checks immediately. Revenu Quebec isn’t levying enough fines. The fine is legally set at $2500 PER DAY, but they usually just fine them $2500 (double if corporate). And of course, they should automatically audit them to see if they were declaring it, since it’s all tracible to the account.

                Of course this could all end by requiring AirBnB et al to file an income tax report for all payments to non-corporate accounts. Just like in the USA and Europe, you would have to give them your social insurance number, they can validate it, payments are made to that account and a tax slip sent out. Wonder how much illegal activity will happen when a tax form is filed.

              • shawn 12:49 on 2023-03-19 Permalink

                Oh my goodness, parties and gunshots. I missed that. What a mess and what a lot of blame to go round.

              • Ephraim 10:56 on 2023-03-20 Permalink

                Just to show you how Revenu Quebec is NOT doing their job. Look at the 26 listings for https://www.airbnb.ca/users/show/460857316 and in the description of ANY of the properties, under the “SHOW MORE” prompt it should have his licence number. No licence number… 26 listings, so commercial. Fine is supposed to be $5000 PER DAY plus a tax audit. Well, where is RQ? Why are they not doing their job? Sure, they passed out SOME fines. But they haven’t cleaned up the system. And until they have it under control… they should be required to report to the public on what they are doing. Get it to 90% cleaned up and we can talk about not reporting to the public. But they don’t.

              • George 11:07 on 2023-03-20 Permalink

                AirBnb is an absolute cancer on society, the world over. When will authorities step in and shut them down?

              • qatzelok 12:23 on 2023-03-20 Permalink

                George, I agree with you in principle. But to be more precise, it’s probably more accurate to say that Late-Stage-Capitalism that is *the cancer*, and that AirBnB, Amazon and Uber are just some of its latest scams.

            • Kate 09:57 on 2023-03-19 Permalink | Reply  

              A restaurant in St-Laurent was the target of gunshots early Sunday. Nobody was hurt.

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