Updates from March, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:11 on 2023-03-22 Permalink | Reply  

    The Gazette’s Linda Gyulai looked into another property belonging to the man who owns the Place Youville firetrap, and finds a real gem.

    The first identified victim from Place Youville is photographer Camille Maheux, 76.

  • Kate 14:56 on 2023-03-22 Permalink | Reply  

    The OQLF is flexing against McGill, demanding all communications with its many workers be also issued in French. As an employer, I suppose the university can’t plead the law about being an anglo cultural institution.

    • Kevin 19:18 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

      This is the pettiest of flexes.
      The next stage is requiring The Gazette to send internal emails in French.

    • Ian 08:00 on 2023-03-23 Permalink

    • shawn 08:53 on 2023-03-23 Permalink

      My org uses Office 365 too although we don’t rely on machine translation. I’m as anglo as they come but McGill SHOULD correspond with its staff in both languages. Voyons.

    • Paul 11:55 on 2023-03-23 Permalink

      How does the law define it now?
      Does every single email need to be in French or just company wide emails from senior execs?? The first scenario would make no sense, so where is the cut-off for what needs to be in French vs not??

    • shawn 13:30 on 2023-03-23 Permalink

      I assume it’s referring to official communications, not emails between individuals.

  • Kate 14:53 on 2023-03-22 Permalink | Reply  

    Another budget thread:

    Mayor Plante is not happy with the budget’s scanty consideration for social housing.

    Here’s a comprehensive dissection from a researcher at IRIS, who thinks the CAQ government is piloting us in the wrong direction.

    And François Legault adjusts his view of reality again, saying that Quebec’s school buildings are not in such bad shape as reports have claimed.

    • Kate 14:34 on 2023-03-22 Permalink | Reply  

      Some Montreal churches are still offering sexual orientation conversion therapy despite a Canadian law passed last year outlawing this bogus practice. Metro sent a couple of people into the church pretending to be gay folks wanting to change, one undergoing something very like an exorcism.

      Metro also found some non‑religious organizations here offering therapies that promise to change a person’s sexual orientation.

      • Ephraim 15:21 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

        They should lose their tax exempt status as they are not functioning as a church but instead a psychologist, which isn’t tax exempt.

      • Tee Owe 16:39 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

        Ephraim – maybe being a bit picky here, but IMO a psychologist doesn’t work to change a person, rather gets them to work with or accept who they are – so whatever they are, tax-exempt or not, these organizations are not psychologists

      • EmilyG 16:43 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

        That’s awful.

        And it’s awful that autism conversion therapy (called ABA, IBI, or ICI, and invented by the same guy as gay conversion therapy) is not only still legal, but widely used to harm autistic children.

      • Ephraim 19:06 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

        Tee Owe – I realize, but basically they are outside of the realm of what a church should do… they should lose their tax advantage for it

    • Kate 14:18 on 2023-03-22 Permalink | Reply  

      Patrick Brasseur, one of the three remaining long-term tenants in the Place Youville building, has left hospital – albeit with nowhere to live – and tells his story of rescue by firefighters.

      • MarcG 15:10 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

        How refreshing is it to see a regular person on TV?

    • Kate 09:35 on 2023-03-22 Permalink | Reply  

      La Presse’s Maxime Bergeron lays out how Quebec and Montreal have, between them, failed to rein in the proliferation of technically illegal short‑term rentals, a trend that’s not only at the heart of the housing crisis, but has now been shown to be extremely dangerous.

      But is he correct that it’s incredibly difficult to prove where the Airbnbs are located? When I was curious about an Airbnb existing close to my place, it took me about two minutes to find it on the map, look at the pictures, and see how much it would cost to rent it for a night. The whole point of the site is to advertise, not to conceal.

      Another thing the inspectors need to look for is combination key lock boxes on front porches. Dead giveaway.

      Maybe I should apply for a job as an inspector. They’re going to need them.

      • Jonathan 09:48 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

        A lot of property owners (who lease to long term tenants, not Airbnb) also have lock boxes on the front of their buildings in case of lost keys or in case someone else like a broker or building manager need to access who don’t have a master key. This is not a fair assumption to state that properties with lock boxes in front all have Airbnb. Far from the truth.

        Also regarding fire, the room without windows has nothing to do with Airbnb. This was against code. Even if a long term tenant who lives there, it’s highly illegal to rent an apartment or more specifically a room, period, without without windows.

      • Ephraim 09:53 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

        It is NOT in the jurisdiction of Montreal at all.. this is all provincial jurisdiction. And Revenu Quebec in particular.

        Don’t need inspectors if you require AirBnB to share the data, or AirBnB to report annual income. You can just let it run it’s course and send them a fine at the end of the year with their declaration. Let’s see, 100 reservations without a licence at $2500 per occurrence.. that’s $250,000 plus the tax on your income.

        Let’s see if AirBnB will allow anyone to post a listing without a licence knowing that they will have to be the people disclosing to the government. Or you could just fine AirBnB per occurrence of listing without a licence. Or better yet, charge AirBnB as a criminal enterprise for helping people avoid paying their taxes and participating in an underground economy.

        As for those combo lock boxes… easiest way to make them disappear… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2LvDHobpNc

      • Ephraim 09:54 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

        Incidentally, I’m willing to bed that the insurance of that building won’t pay up for the fire or the liability because the landlord knew that they were doing AirBnB illegally. You would think they would have known better because of their profession.

      • MarcG 10:10 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

        @Ephraim: This might be a good time for you to get your voice out on a larger forum. Newspapers are probably looking for opinions on the subject right now.

      • Blork 10:36 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

        Given how short-term rentals are sort of a big issue everywhere, I’m surprised this story isn’t being covered more widely.

      • Blork 11:23 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

        …I mean the story about the fire, specifically. Apparently AirBnb stock jumped up 15% a few days ago, which makes me think this story has NOT been widely circulated.

      • EmilyG 11:26 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

        Inside AirBNB is a website that shows you where AirBNBs are, and what type they are (entire home, private room, etc.)

      • saintjacques 11:36 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

        Out of curiosity, is there any means to check a CITQ license number that is displayed on a particular Airbnb listing to ensure it is legit? In a, shall we say, permissive enforcement environment, what prevents someone from using a made-up number in their Airbnb listing?

      • Ephraim 12:49 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

        @saintjacques – As far as I know, there isn’t a way to check the CITQ licence. My guess is that you can call the CITQ to check. Or Revenu Quebec.

        @EmilyG – That’s from scraping and assumptions. It’s a good guideline. It assumes that properties are ONLY listed on AirBnB (the “idiots” who built their entire business on AirBnB and who lose everything the day that AirBnB bans them.)

        @MarcG – Do I want to be on the bad side of the lawyer, AirBnB, Legault, or worse… Revenu Quebec? Let the AHQ do it. RQ is particularly bad, they can target people. In fact, when they took over the dossier, they sent inspectors to ALL the legally registered businesses. Asked why they would bother going to those who are legal, rather than looking for the illegals… they couldn’t answer.

      • shawn 12:56 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

        Here’s a nice little history of the building from Montreal’s beloved Richard Burnett
        BTW to the person who suggested earlier that these windowless and apparently illegal rooms might have been old and ‘grandfathered’ – these floors would have been big open spaces when built. Any modifications to create these little cell-like rooms would have been recent.

      • Ephraim 12:59 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

        BTW, want to see how BAD RQ is at doing this? And AirBnB itself? Look at this listing… https://www.airbnb.ca/users/show/318040 there are over 9000 reviews. See the words “Old Montreal”. Well, AirBnB isn’t allowed in Old Montreal as far as I know. None of the listings have a licence number. And “Seb” himself? FAKE. That’s a stock image. And there is even a What’s App phone number listed. You would think that RQ could pick up a phone and call and ask about the lack of licence… but nope.

      • DavidH 13:11 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

        I have a lock box in front of my house and I’ve owned the place for over 10 years. Never had short term tenants. The previous owners installed it because they both wore uniforms to work that made carrying keys cumbersome. They also had a cleaning lady that came by once in a while. I run a lot and I really appreciate not having to carry keys around. I’m definitely installing one on my next house as well, either that or a pin pad lock. They really are not synonymous with airbnb. If there had not been one in place already, I would have put one up when we did renos for all the people coming to work.

      • Joey 15:05 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

        It’s amazing that Richard Ryan didn’t solve the airbnb problem when he very publicly removed some lockboxes from lampposts. Anyway, nothing a few new green alleys can’t fix!

      • Ephraim 15:24 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

        DavidH – install an electronic lock. It’s safer anyway. Look at the Youtube video I posted, it’s easy to figure out the code with a tool in 15 seconds. Without the tool, it’s a minute or two. Those locks with tumblers… they “click” when you have the right number.

      • shawn 16:14 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

        another victim identified: 76-year-old Camille Mailheux, a longtime resident and presumably someone who had nothing to do with the Airbnb https://twitter.com/Steverukavina/status/1638632242908889095

      • Em 16:50 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

        The exact addresses of Airbnbs aren’t listed on the ads, so it’s up to inspectors to prove that a particular unit is a short term rental. I read somewhere that inspectors pretty much have to book a night in the airbnb in order to shut them down.

      • Ephraim 19:10 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

        @Em – With the fine being $2500 to $5000 (per day), I’m sure they can afford to make a reservation or two.

      • CE 20:03 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

        I feel like Airbnb might possibly have the technology to allow inspectors to see the address of a listing without having to book a night if they just asked them to make it happen (or, failing that, have the government mandate it). For some reason this province treats airbnb like it’s some sort of omnipotent entity that is impossible to regulate in any way possible.

      • MarcG 20:08 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

        That’s what’s weird: If they’re not profiting from taxes why do they turn a blind eye? I guess it’s the tourism dollars?

      • Mozai 21:47 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

        “combination key lock boxes on front porches” The depanneur in my neighbourhood (Plateau) has a set of drawers unlocked with a keycode, and each drawer is about the size of a pack of smokes. It’s pretty obvious what they’re for, and they’re less likely to get cracked open with a dremel.

    • Kate 09:27 on 2023-03-22 Permalink | Reply  

      The provincial budget was presented Tuesday. People are mostly talking about a very slight reduction in income taxes for some, but what concerns this blog is funding for cities – specifically, transit and housing in this fraught era.

      And it’s generally felt to have been a disappointment. The CAQ is not interested in you if you don’t own your own house and car. Even QMI says that the party is more concerned with roads and highways than public transit.

      Metro, which continues to grow in its seriousness and reliability about local news, has a good dissection of the budget’s points affecting Montreal, including how Quebec’s only financing a small fraction of the social housing we need. There are more points in the Metro piece, which I won’t expand on. If you want to know how the budget affects the city it’s a must‑read.

      In short, we don’t vote for the CAQ, so how can we expect them to do anything for us?

      • Uatu 10:41 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

        I’m just waiting for the austerity measures to appear in a couple of years when hospital unionized workers will change from heroes of the pandemic into a parasitic overpaid expense

      • H. John 11:18 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

        “Implementing free access to vaccination against shingles”

        I heard this mentioned on Paul Arcand this morning, and based on previous discussions I thought it might be of interest.

        There were no details of when, of for whom, the vaccine would be free.

        From the budget document:

        …. Budget 2023-2024, the government is setting aside $124.6 million over five years to implement free access to vaccination against shingles.

        The amounts invested will be used to vaccinate 800 000 individuals over this period.

      • Kate 14:36 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

        Excellent news, H. John. My GP told me that the medical profession had been putting pressure on for shingles shots to be free. They cost more than $150 each now, and you need two.

      • jeather 15:26 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

        There are two vaccines; one is better than the other for most people (there is a group for whom this isn’t true, but I forget what that group has in common). I’m trying to figure out the likelihood of them only paying for the less good one in order to incentivise people to pay for the better ones privately. I guess we’ll see how long it takes for them to get this actually through.,

      • H. John 18:36 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

        @jeather. I’m assuming they will follow the recommendation of the INSPQ which found that Shingrix (the newer, more expensive vaccine requiring two doses) is more cost effective since it protects much better (90% vs. 50%), and the protection lasts much longer.

        Their whole report from 2017 is 50 pages. Here’s the one page update:


      • jeather 12:33 on 2023-03-23 Permalink

        I’m just being a pessimist. And I don’t trust this government.

    • Kate 09:06 on 2023-03-22 Permalink | Reply  

      The Samuel-de-Champlain bridge is to be lit up blue and green in an attempt to keep migrating birds from being distracted by it.

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