UMQ president wants to avoid creating vacation hubs in residential zones

By Michael Boriero - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
UMQ president wants to avoid creating vacation hubs in residential zones

Union des municipalités du Québec (UMQ) President Suzanne Roy reacted to Quebec’s Bill 67, which addresses flood risk management in flood-prone areas and regulations on what qualifies as an Airbnb property.
According to the UMQ, Airbnb’s are growing rapidly, especially in the province’s more rural areas where people are swapping busy city life with quiet solitude for a period of time. But Roy believes this is detrimental to keeping the peace in neighbourhoods unaccustomed to tourism.
“The noise, the disturbance, the garbage that stays for a week, people parking their cars accidentally blocking access to certain roads; it creates a lot of problems in residential zones,” Roy said.
Roy added that the bill removes a municipality’s capacity to prohibit tourist accommodations, which runs the risk of creating small vacation hubs in areas primarily made up of residential neighbourhoods.
She wants the Quebec government to take out certain sections of the bill in order to give municipalities the power to define what constitutes a tourist accommodation, like an Airbnb, in a residential area.
Places like Magog and Sainte-Catherine-de-Hatley are suddenly filled with tourists, Roy told The Record. People are buying up property to rent out, but boisterous tourists are disturbing residents’ every day life.
Roy also touched on Quebec’s Bill 66, which promotes the acceleration of infrastructure projects. The UMQ completely supports the bill as it is the quickest path to restarting the economic in terms of the pandemic, Roy said.
“For the relaunch of the economy it’s essential for us to go even faster to start these infrastructure projects,” she said. “These are projects in health, education, and transportation, so it’s important to go a bit faster in order to restart the economy.”
While Roy noted the importance of accelerating some of Quebec’s larger projects, she hopes the government will consider speeding up the process for smaller infrastructure projects across the province.
When asked about the negative effects of rushing these types of projects, such as overlooking environmental impact, disrupting day-to-day lives, and budgeting concerns, Roy said she has faith in the provincial government’s ability to properly manage its construction initiatives.
“I think in Quebec we are able to be efficient and rigorous,” said Roy. “The culture of going slower doesn’t give us better projects, it just gives us projects that take a long time to complete.”

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