No answers this week

It was bound to happen at some point, but we find ourselves dealing with a number of head-scratcher moments in recent weeks.

Old Montreal

While in Gatineau staying at the Marriott, we first learned of the fire in Montreal that claimed numerous lives. Relatively quickly it became known the old building was booked using Airbnb, a booking app for short-term stays. One guest, perhaps more, was housed in a room with no window, where she was found to have perished.

Since that event the city of Montreal has vowed to crackdown on unregulated spots like this and the app itself has promised to shed questionable quarters from its site. It has also become public knowledge that the landlord in question has other properties where fire code violations continue to be ignored.

Why does it take a needless tragedy, in this case seven, before regulators wake up and insist on safety?

Regulated hotels have safety regimens in place as mandated by law, which results in a more costly experience for travellers.

Disruptor technology like Airbnb, or a host of other apps, rely on skirting the rules. Although accidents can happen anywhere, anytime, it seems risky to us to take a chance on the unknown. The price in this case was too high.


Whether we end up able to publish components of the “Sunshine List” this week or not, remains to be seen. Efforts are made to make said list as comprehensive as possible.

Even though we think it is time to get over the list, a hangover from previous times, it is nevertheless a news item of interest to readers.

Over the weekend we had to listen to the news cycle twice thinking we must have misheard the claim that nurses bear responsibility for plumping up the numbers of 2022 Sunshine List members. Sure enough, as the Doug Ford government noted on the CBC website, that was the inflection.

“Treasury Board President Prabmeet Sarkaria highlighted the salaries of nurses and teachers on the list released Friday.

“The largest year-over-year increase was in the hospitals and boards of public health sector, which represented almost half of the growth of the list,” he wrote in a statement. 

“This was primarily driven by an increase in the number of nurses represented on the list, which accounted for 78% of the growth in that sector as our government has continued to make unprecedented investments in connecting the people of Ontario to convenient care, including by hiring more health care workers.” 

The number of teachers earning $100,000 or more is at “historic highs,” Sarkaria wrote, with 65,510 in 2022, up from 29,975 in 2020.

Apart from the obvious, which is they worked and got paid based on their contract, why is there a need to disenfranchise chiefly female government employees? It was a cheap shot we don’t understand.

Taking a ride

Most days we have the privilege of waiting for the school bus with our young lad.

It’s a time to chat and make sure he safely gets to where he is going. Most days there is a big wave to the bus driver who has been on the route for years. A quick 15 commute and we are at the office – fortunate is an understatement.

For many in larger urban centres public transit is a necessity. They use it to get to school, work or a safe return if out on the town. It is their lifeline, but in recent weeks and months, it has become a dangerous pursuit.

Since 2019, violent incidents have increased 60% according to a recent report prepared by TTC management. Stabbings of unsuspecting patrons seem to happen with regularity now, despite an increased police and security presence. How did we get here, where people going about their day fall victims to unnecessary crimes? 

As noted, we have no answers this week.