La Presse journalist Isabelle Ducas did not need a large staff to discover in one day that there were 4155 accommodations on the Airbnb site in the Ville-Marie⁠1 territory, 45 with occupancy certificates. And she noted about 1,000 ads for accommodation or rooms in Old Montreal, while this occupation is prohibited in this territory.

Let’s read what this journalist reports in the March 19 issue: “The City does not have an inspector for by-laws, relying on the Government of Quebec, whose inspectors do not have the mandate to apply the municipal regulations. »

As the saying goes, that’s why your daughter is mute.

We can’t pretend these illegal Airbnbs don’t exist, because the organization Inside Airbnb indicated that in Montreal, 92.8% of rentals are without a permit, while in Toronto, it’s 55.8%, and in Vancouver, it’s 28.5%, according to the Radio-Canada report2. ⁠Can we be surprised that with such a result in Montreal, we risk other disasters in the making?

Obviously, the excuse of lack of resources and personnel is the perfect excuse to avoid any liability. Before, it was COVID-19 that excused everything, now it’s the lack of manpower.

After all, the first responsibility of the City is to see to the application of its by-laws.

In the past, when the City faced the problems of rooming houses, effective collaborative mechanisms had been implemented to try to eliminate this scourge, and this, with the contribution of Quebec, without the current existing technology.

Nowadays, a panoply of legal measures can be taken to quickly put an end to these illegal occupations (notice of violation, fines, repeated complaints). The community must learn that the City is serious in its desire to tackle this scourge and that it will cost dearly to those who do not comply with the law.

To succeed, we must ensure the collaboration of Quebec and stop passing the buck.

The last question that arises concerns the protection of heritage buildings.

Our heritage is not as flourishing as that of European countries, so we must ensure that our buildings are inspected and adequately protected. It is difficult to explain that this was not the case for the burned building.

Where I live, although the building is fairly new, firefighters come once or twice a year to inspect the alarm and fire systems. From the various data that the City has, we can surely create a group of inspectors, firefighters responsible for carrying out a blitz of the targeted places, also asking for the collaboration of the inspectors of the Government of Quebec.

My great-niece having been a victim of this fire, I cannot end my remarks without deeply thanking, on behalf of my whole family, the firefighters who did a remarkable job during this difficult fight. They were deeply affected by this disaster and the family had the opportunity to meet some who were barely holding back their tears, disappointed that they could not save everyone. I also do not forget the police and investigators who particularly helped, with all their compassion, the father and mother of the victim to go through this terrible ordeal. It is easy to criticize the work of the police, but we too often forget that they too are affected by these tragedies. Think of those who picked up the cries for help and the police who heard them, but ultimately found themselves powerless in the face of this tragedy and others like it. Thank you again for what you have done and continue to do.