Montreal enlists public in illegal apartment fight
City claims key boxes are being put on public property as a way to fool inspectors
Montreal is enlisting citizens, municipal workers and the provincial Revenue Department in its fight against illegal apartment rentals that use online platforms such as Airbnb.
The city recently directed its employees to seek out and remove from public property small lock boxes that contain keys allowing short-term renters to enter apartments on their own.
Mayor Valerie Plante has asked residents to report any lock boxes they see attached to public property, such as parking meters and MELFORT, SASK.—SCOTT Thomas was sitting nearby in the courtroom Tuesday when a truck driver pleaded guilty to every charge against him in a highway crash that killed 16 people on a junior hockey bus and left 13 players forever scarred by the disaster.
Thomas lost his 18-year old son, Evan, in the Humboldt Broncos collision and always wanted the trucker to take responsibility.
Standing in the bitter cold outside the provincial courthouse in Melfort, Sask., the Saskatoon father said he’s relieved the case is moving on to sentencing.
He isn’t worried about whether Jaskirat Singh Sidhu will go to prison for a long time.
“If he spends a day, if he spends 10 years, time is irrelevant,” Thomas said, fighting through his emotions. “He was guilty. He acknowledged that. That’s all I needed to hear.”
Sidhu was driving a transport truck loaded with peat moss last April when the rig and the Broncos team bus collided at a rural intersection. The team had been on its way to a Saskatchewan Junior bicycle racks.
The city contends people who are illegally renting apartments are putting key boxes on public property as a way to fool inspectors and distance themselves from their activity. Under provincial rules, a license is required for short-term rentals of a secondary property.
Councillor Richard Ryan says popular neighbourhoods such as the Plateaumont-royal and downtown have strictly limited shortterm rentals since the summer in an effort to increase the availability of housing for citizens.
Ryan says the city is also calling on the Revenue Department to investigate residents suspected of illegal rentals. Lock boxes for keys to Airbnb units are seen attached to a parking metre post in Montreal. Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, the driver of a truck involved in the crash with the Humboldt Broncos, said he didn’t want to make things worse by going to trial.
Hockey League playoff game.
“I plead guilty, your honour,” Sidhu said as he stood before the judge.
Guilty to 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death. Guilty to 13 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm.
He made no other comment as he left the courthouse and put his head down as he stood next to his lawyer.
Mark Brayford, who recently took on the case, said more evidence still needs to be handed over to the defence, but Sidhu wanted to avoid further delays and plead guilty.
“Mr. Sidhu advised me: ‘I don’t want to make things any worse. I can’t make things any better, but I certainly
don’t want to make them worse by having a trial,’ ” Brayford said.
“He wanted the families to know that he’s devastated by the grief that he’s caused them. And he’s overwhelmed by the expressions of sympathy and kindness that some of the families and players have expressed to him in spite of the fact their grief is entirely his fault.”
Crown lawyer Thomas Healey said he might need up to five days for a sentencing hearing, which is to begin Jan. 28. He would not comment further.
The maximum penalty for dangerous driving causing death is 14 years. DEER LAKE, N.l.—three abandoned kittens are recovering after being rescued from a snowbank in western Newfoundland.
Shiver, Stormy and Flurry were found Sunday by an animal-loving truck driver, huddled together for warmth at the side of a road near the farming community of Cormack, N.L.
The driver spotted the moving pile of black fur and retrieved the kittens, warming them with coats while he reached out to a local animal rescue organization.
Tanya Wight of Deer Lake Kitty Rescue said the 12-weekold kittens were lethargic and scared when she brought them home.
“They would just kind of lie there, I think, totally traumatized — their bodies in shock from the experience,” Wight said.
By Monday morning, however, the trio were showing signs of improved health, despite some respiratory problems for the smallest, weighing only two pounds. Wight said she’s received a stream of adoption inquiries since the cats’ story gained public attention, but it will be at least a week before the cats are
healthy enough for a new home.
She said the three were found in the snow without any tracks nearby, leading Wight to believe they were thrown from a vehicle on the quiet road, where residences are widely spread out. Wight said a police report has been filed into the case of what she calls a “blatant act of animal cruelty and abandonment.”
Based on their friendly behaviour, she believes the ani- WWW.THESTAR.COM
Truck driver in Humboldt Broncos crash pleads guilty to all charges
Frozen kittens on mend after trucker in Newfoundland saw them in snow
mals were house cats. Since founding the Deer Lake Kitty Rescue in 2015, Wight said she and her small group of volunteers have rescued more than 250 animals.
The three cats will eventually be adopted through the NL West SPCA in Corner Brook.
Wight said if the truck driver hadn’t spotted them, the cats could have been covered in snow by a passing snow plow. Kittens are recovering after being rescued from the snow beside a western Newfoundland highway on Sunday.