Bedbug sightings raise alarm among Nunavik patients in Montreal

Hotel manager says repeated inspections by exterminators failed to find the critters

This is the hungry critter you don’t want to find in your room: a bedbug. But recently bedbugs have been reported in a Dorval hotel where patients from Nunavik stay when receiving health care in the city. (File photo)

By Jane George

Bedbug sightings in places where Nunavik residents stay while receiving health care in Montreal have caused a lot of anxiety among patients and their families.

This photo shows the bedbug that Cecilia Kutchaka saw last month on a bedsheet while in her mother’s room at the Quality Hotel on Cote de Liesse in Dorval. (Photo courtesy of Cecilia Kutchaka)

In mid-October Cecilia Kutchaka was visiting her mother at the Quality Hotel on Cote de Liesse in Dorval when she got a fright: under the bed cover she said she found a bedbug, of which she took a photo.

Kutchaka then reported that she had seen a bedbug to the onsite security staffer for patients from Nunavik’s Ullivik patient residence, which takes a block of rooms, 39 in all, on the hotel’s first floor for its overflow.

Kutchaka then called her mother who told her that she’d never stay there again.

The hotel’s general manager, Nader Abdel Nour, told Nunatsiaq News last week that he’s perplexed about some of the bedbug sightings. That’s because recent, repeated inspections, for which he provided reports from exterminators, haven’t turned up any.

One inspection of a room showed that there could have been bedbugs there at one point, but they were no longer in the room.

Abdel Nour also shared emails citing complaints from patients who said they had seen bedbugs.

Because of the importance of Ullivik to his hotel operations, Abdel Nour said they had treated all the rooms earlier this year and continue to conduct routine inspections and treatments, if necessary.

Nunatsiaq News was unable to get a statement from the Nunavik Regional Board of Health or the Module du Nord québécois that deals with Nunavik patients in Montreal about the bedbug sightings and how they deal with these situations.

But the MNQ has spoken about its concerns in an email to Adbel Nour.

“It appears that the client-residents at the hotel are verbalizing a bedbug problem and are refusing to stay at the hotel,” wrote George Delatolla, the head of lodging at Ullivik, on Oct. 16.

“Please advise me of what and how and when this problem will be resolved. We need to assure arriving residents that the bedbug issue has been looked into and taken care of.”

Ullivik reportedly treats patients’ bags before they enter the residence.

That there are bedbugs in Montreal is undeniable: a bug infestation closed government offices at the huge Complexe Guy-Favreau last month.

And if there are bedbugs afoot where there are patients from the North, it would not be the first time, as was the case in 2010 in Winnipeg.

Bedbugs are not welcome company: they may be small, but they can cause itchy red welts, blisters and rashes where they bite into the skin.

The insect uses one hollow feeding tube to inject saliva that makes the victim’s blood thinner and numbs the skin. With another tube, the bedbug sucks out blood, usually for about five minutes.

After feeding, they turn dark red and bloated.

Bedbugs only need to eat every five to 10 days and they can live for up to a year, lurking in the folds of mattresses, bed sheets and other warm, dark places, only surfacing occasionally to feed.

The good news is that bedbugs don’t like low temperatures, which cause them to go into hibernation and die.

So you can kill them by leaving your bags outside for two or more days if the temperature remains below zero.

To guard against bedbugs when you’re travelling, inspect the headboard of the bed, look at the mattress and don’t leave your bag on the bed.

And, when you get home, wash your clothes before bringing them into your bedroom and make sure no bedbugs travelled back with you in your bag.

If you see bedbugs in Montreal at a hotel, you can call 311 to file a complaint with the city.

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(18) Comments:

  1. Posted by person from ungava on

    I just arrived from Montreal recently for medical follow-up and stayed at the Quality Inn in Cote de Leisse, and heard that there are bedbugs since October and so, once I arrived, checked and asked the employee if there are bedbugs she said no. But other people from Nunavik staying there were complaining that there are bedbugs in their rooms or wanted to move to Ullivik and no action was taken. THIS IS TERRIBLE!!!
    NRBHSS should get a better hotel besides that hotel plus it is always full of tourists.

  2. Posted by how gross can you get Cote-des-liesse Quality Hotel? on

    Why are Ungava patients treated differently than Hudson patients?

    I thought Ullivik transit was mainly for patients?! why can’t Ullivik expand it’s building, a hotel is not suitable for a patient! A hotel is for people who travels for leisure not for sick patients!

    And that Hotel is roamed by many drunk patients or escorts! ilirarkusautialuiit aangajaariartuttuiinnatut aanniaviliartunik kamajurkualuiit aangatuiinnatut taimangat most embarrassing to see!

    • Posted by Inuk Ungavammiut on

      You are absolutely right!

      I went to see Ullivik a few weeks back as I was an escort but could not stay in Ullivik or the hotel voluntarily because of hearing all of the nonsense that goes about, especially from the guards!
      I asked for meal tickets, they gave me one, telling me to come back everyday. It is not feasible since you cannot go on the bus from Ullivik back to dorval, only way is to walk for 25 minutes or take a taxi, WHICH SINCE INUIT ARE VERY GULLIBLE, TAXI DRIVERS TAKE ADVANTAGE AND DO UNNECCESARY TURNS AND ROUTES TO RANK UP MINUTES!

      I do not have money for taxi’s, I take the bus.

      How come most whom are hired aren’t Inuit, and if they are how come they are from Nunavut?
      How come as someone who is entitled just as much as everyone, Inuit are served as second class citizens?

      One person told me they were woken up by an enraged security guard after knocking for 5 minutes, it was 6am and it turned out they had the wrong room.
      One person was not drunk, but was treated as such and had all of his belongings searched, Tattled in french among the guards on what they bought (Judged in French, she doesn’t understand French) and often was asked if they purchase booze.
      One of my favourite things to hear about mistreatment against Inuit!
      There was an elder from Kuujjuaq who was told she needed an escort, she needed to fly out soon as possible which the next available flight was First Air, she left, Ullivik Driver told her “You’re not on the list, you’re on your own” and they proceeded to go to the emergency room at Hospitale generale de Montreal by TAXI with their own pocket money, own time and worries. There was a “Miscommunication” between the nurse in Kuujjuaq and whoever takes care of the necessary lodging, travel and food at Ullivik.
      There was even a pregnant lady (Diabetic) whom was told they need to give birth down south, but when she called Ullivik since she could not make the flight as they said the father of her child cannot escort her (even though Kuujjuaq Nurse said he MUST – Diabetic), she called to see when, and they told her she isn’t listed a stay in Ullivik or Quality. So she would’ve left alone, denied a ride to Ullivik, denied lodging and on her own to deliver her baby. Many of which you do not hear on the Hudson Coast (As per INUULITSIVIK HEALTH CENTRE – HUDSON BASED HOSPITAL SERVICES).

      Theres many more, if you want to see more, visit “Your voice on Nunavik” on Facebook, you’ll see first hand experiences among the favouritism of a place called ULLIVIK (Translates to half way point of rest in Inuktitut).

  3. Posted by Inuk against Inuk no no on

    Oh my god is. Anyone ever considered that the bed bug issue is a Nunavik issue? Never mind the traveling to the south, let’s consider the travel in the north. That crosses into the south. The meetings. The hotel stays by inuit are incredible high. In the north and the south. Inuit are among the most travelled people, staying in hotels, where has all the igloos gone, my goodness. Bed bugs are the least of our issues, but it’s a Nunavik issue.

  4. Posted by Bed buddy on

    Bed buds are nothing compared to our demand of treatment for sexual transmitted diseases. Why aren’t anyone concerned about that issue? In Nunavik, southern demands by inuit too. The number of treatments for sexually transmitted disease is off the charts, welcome the bedbugs yo all.

  5. Posted by Go go go on

    The travel is the problem for nunavik. If you have to go montreal for medical, thats fine. Nothing wrong with the need to travel for your health. Bed bugs are a pest, and all patrons of the hotel are victim. Thats very unfortunate. But for a minute just consider the travel by the average person in Nunavik. Non inuit and inuit alike. One week a person is in a hotel in montreal, then the next week theyre in inukjuaq, staying at hotel or with someone in house. The bed bug problem is following you everywhere. I hope CTV or who ever does the investigation will find that this problem belongs to all users of the hotel, not just inuit, but its inuit who are impacted the most, due to go go go. Consider that many inuit, and some non inuit too, are living in hotels, kids are growing up without you.

  6. Posted by Disgusting hotel on

    The bedbugs are not the only problem there at Quality Inn! The room I stayed in last month is dirty and smelly, lumpy bed, pillow smelling of puke, bathroom shitty smell, dirty carpet. Disgusting, disgusting!! And you are expected to room with strangers. I ended up asking the hotel front desk workers how they would feel if they are booking at a hotel room and expected to share it with a person they’ve never seen before. UNACCEPTABLE. Let the Executive Director of Ullivik try sleeping there for one or two nights and see the reality there.

    • Posted by INUK PERSON on

      I sure agree with this comment. If a person from south would go to north they do not be booked in a hotel with a stranger, intoxicated person, and dirty bed sheets. Who would want to be in a hotel with bedbugs that do not exist in the northern hotels? I agree too if the director of Ullivik go to the Quality Inn in Cote-des-Liesse and I am pretty sure she would freak out. That old hotel feels like a detention all strangers go there from all over the world. VERY DISGUSTING PLACE TO BE ANOTHER TRANSIT FOR PATIENTS THAT HAVE HEALTH PROBLEM. I AM PRETTY SURE THEY WILL TAKE ACTION ONLY WHEN SOMETHING TERRIBLE HAPPENS!!!!

    • Posted by Make your bed hard on

      If your make a hard bed, then you must endure the bad sleep. Most people that are having a problem like you described are also the cause of such problem. Why allow yourself the displeasure of encountering such a situation? Just look at yourself and asked that question. I know that people can get poor treatment from services out there, but some people seems to be continuously getting a bad services, due to their own making. From my experience around people like you, you are doing literally nothing to fix your direction in life. You are always getting bad services because you are always dependent on others or something out there. Please do something to help yourself, life can smell good if you let that be so. You are probably one of those that will continue to live in social housing when theres a good incentive to get your own house. Yes, we know all about you.

  7. Posted by Snow Snake on

    I appreciate Nunavik Patient services at Ullivik who take more *&^% than most would tolerate. Yes they are doing what they can to give proper services needed. Meanwhile stop making complaints about not being treated like others (inmature attitude), maybe hotels should be creative by using masking tapes to seal every outline of rooms corner to corner to corner plus spray the carpets with lysol. Just my 2 cent thought.

  8. Posted by Inuit day on

    I know this particular post is about bedbugs as by topic, but theres so much more than that in this story. This is about inuit struggling in encounters with the larger society. Its very negative for inuit. For too many years now, alcohol and its manifested behaviours from some inuit have tarnished inuit life in a very dangerous way. The disrespect of some inuit are causing so much pain to the general inuit population, i speak of Nunavik, but think it might be inuit in all the north of canada. Many people in montreal have lost all respect for inuit. Inuit are being treated like animals in many cases. These stories of ulivik are sometimes true and sometimes not. Many good people work there. Maybe some are not so good. The hotels are known for many racists situations, and bedbugs are in the story. But its past the time when all inuit have to speak out against alcohol abuse and the way it’s shaping inuit life in a very negative way. It will only get worst, if inuit dont do something about the culprit. Start speaking out about the inuit that are making life dangerous for all inuit.

  9. Posted by Gone too far on

    Its gone too far. One reason why its gone too far, is the acceptance that all behaviours of inuit are justified because of residential school trauma. Even the bedbugs are getting in on it. This blame it all on residential school, generational passed downs has got to stop. Its taking the life out of inuit. Theres no excuse for behaviour that are hurting everyone. No one on this earth can be given the right to act in a certain way because of the past. For a moment just think about it. It makes inuit look as thou they can’t recover from trauma. Thats not true, inuit can recover, but inuit will not revovery, if this acceptance , and justifiable behaviours of residential school continues to mainstream inuit life. Im not sure why this whole phenomenon has come about. Not sure if its the government, lawyers, or a combination of inuit themselves. But it will continue to make inuit suffer. All nuit must stand up and condemn thses behaviours. All canadians must stop believing also that residential school is keeping inuit in a poor state of affairs, thats not true. Inuit choice is still there.

    • Posted by Anonymous on

      What keeps us in a “poor state” is the ongoing oppression.

      • Posted by Your choice on

        I disagree with your comment. No one can make you have a bad day without your permission. Look around your community and see opportunities being lost to desires of alcohol and drugs, rather than determination to do the best for your children. Nunavik is given lots of money to do good, but that money is being abused, misused. Many areas of canada have so much less money, and are doing very well with love and determination, bring children up with love and care. You can go on and on about your perception of oppression, but its not true anymore. Off course everyone knows the past was not good. But, the excuse of continued oppression is not true. This is wrong, and it masked the lack of responsibility. People are not drinking alcohol, and abusing because of what was done to them. People are being abusive because they are making a choice to do less with their life. Choice was never taken away from you. No one can take it.

  10. Posted by Bed bug on

    We Inuit; we some of us cannot stand bugs, hotel is NOT for patients! It’s for for people who travel for business! Ullivik executives it’s about you wake up! I mean board members; stay there at least for 2 nights and see how it feels. Just because we are fellow Inuit dumping wherever to stay with bed bugs!. Think about this issue as priority. Everyone needs comfortable place just like VIPeople. Treat everyone equally, we’re in 2019; in the last days.

  11. Posted by the booze on

    Its a total mess. Complaining about everything because of poor decisions. I look back on the time that Villeray district of Montreal refused to have ulivik within the borough. I can certainly see how that was a very good decision for the area. The people there now must be saying, wow, we could be having that mess on out door step, but thanks to our choice at the time we are free from that mess. The whole system is awful. You get in life what you put into it. Some people put it nothing but trouble, and there you go. Its the same situation in the north. Poor decision makes a poor qualty life, that affects not only the decision maker, but the family and the community. Almost everyday we re having suicide, its now the normal way. Its all part of the same poor decision by too many people that affects everyone. The alcohol, drunk driving and accidents, child abuse. Yes, one big mess, that is somanicaly complainable via a bedbug.

  12. Posted by qimmiuvugut on

    Imagine if the Nunavik leaders who are now used to luxury under their fellow-Inuit’s expense were finally traveling to our towns, have no room at the hotel. They were put into shacks with mice and smelling gas and all. That’s how it feels like at Quality Inn. They should get off their high horses and put themselves’ in an average nunavimmiuk’s shoes.

    • Posted by Who’s doing what to who on

      Who’s hurting who here? I think inuit are hurting inuit. Im calling it cruelty coming from within. The problems faced by inuit are also caused by inuit. Fellow inuit hurting inuit. But blaming it on government, the south, police, health care, you name it. The most frightening part, is the approach to a solution is making things worst. Sitting around hotel conference rooms, getting sucked from bedbugs, after nights of partying. Bedbugs are affected too from the alcohol. The bedbugs are trying to tell you something. They are saying, inuit please stop traveling, and look after your health.

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