Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press “Under no conditions it will be the status quo with Airbnb. We gave them a chance, ”said Tourism Minister Caroline Proulx on Wednesday.
Caroline Proulx warns Airbnb that the company will have to comply with the new Tourist Accommodations Act, whether it likes it or not.
The Minister of Tourism directly challenged the short-term rental site on Wednesday, to encourage it to comply with the provisions of the bill she tabled at the beginning of the month to fight against illegal tourist accommodation. By asking that Quebec maintain the legislative status quo, the company is “not acting [like] a good corporate citizen,” she said.
Airbnb refused to testify as part of Minister Proulx's study of Bill 25, which requires her to ensure the legality of the tens of thousands of Quebec ads that she hosts on her site. In a brief filed on Tuesday, the American company recommended that the Legault government revise its text of the law to let it remove ads deemed non-compliant – as it already does – rather than forcing it to check them individually.
Asked about this at the entrance to the caucus of Caquiste deputies on Wednesday, Caroline Proulx reiterated that the government would no longer do the work of short-term rental companies. “Under no conditions is it going to be the status quo with Airbnb. We gave them a chance,” she cursed.
Revenu Québec is the organization that is currently verifying the registration numbers that short-term accommodation landlords have been required to display since last year. With Bill 25, Ms. Proulx wants to make rental platforms responsible for making these reviews. “It's the name of the game,” she said Wednesday. “Airbnb is not going to evade the laws of Quebec.
In 2022, approximately 30% of advertisements published on the Internet complied with the obligation to obtain a registration number and display it publicly, according to statistics collected by Quebec. In March, Airbnb agreed to remove all apartments that do not comply with the law from its site, but a Devoir investigation revealed in the following days that it is very easy to put online an advertisement bearing a fictitious registration number, “123456” for example.
Airbnb was contacted again on Wednesday to testify before the parliamentarians. At the time these lines were written, the Californian company had not responded to the invitation of the National Assembly.