(Quebec) Finance Minister Eric Girard will look into how Revenu Québec hunts down illegal Airbnbs. He does not rule out an increase in the number of inspectors, following the fatal fire which destroyed a building in Old Montreal where several dwellings were rented illegally.
“There are always more violations than inspectors. Could there be more inspectors? Yes,” he said on the sidelines of a pre-budget press briefing in Quebec City on Monday, while saying he was “not in a position” to know if there were enough bloodhounds on this case.
Sunday, La Presse reported that throughout Old Montreal, it is forbidden to rent apartments to tourists, but that there are nevertheless hundreds of these illegal accommodations on Airbnb. The City does not carry out 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.
“There was a tragedy. There is work that needs to be done. There will be additional thoughts and gestures,” Mr. Girard said. In the morning, the mayor of Montreal Valérie Plante had directly pointed out the lack of inspectors at Revenu Québec.
Minister Girard, however, pleads for patience and warns those who want to make “public policies in the urgency of the tragedy”. He claims that since the agency responsible for collecting taxes and levies was given this “new responsibility” in 2021, the “number of inspections and fines” has increased over time.
“Is the number of resources well matched according to the number, will have to see,” he said, before adding that you have to “understand” to “do the right things”. “Is it more inspectors, tighter regulations,” he wondered.
In these discussions, the Minister of Tourism, the Minister of Housing and the city of Montreal will be involved, he said. “There will be improvements to be made,” said the Minister of Finance.