Column: September 8, 2016

Free fitness sessions in September
 
Ottawa residents are invited to sample a variety of fitness opportunities for free at City recreation facilities during the fall 2016 edition of Try it!
 
Residents have the month of September to try three fitness sessions at a number of City facilities (a listing participating facilities is noted on ottawa.ca). To give it try, simply visit one of the participating facilities to set up your free membership access card. This is a great opportunity to try aquafitness, cycling and group fitness classes, or to work out in a participating City of Ottawa cardio or weight training centre.
 
Fall Cleaning the Capital
 
The annual Tim Hortons Cleaning the Capital Campaign is back and takes place from September 15 to October 15. Early-bird registration is now available. To register a clean-up project, go to ottawa.ca or call 3-1-1. Volunteers who register their cleanup project before Wednesday, September 14 have a chance to win early-bird prizes.
 
This is a great opportunity for families and friends to work together on community cleanup projects that help make Ottawa clean, green, graffiti-free and litter-free. Cleaning the Capital is also an excellent way for high school students to earn their community volunteer hours.
 
Hydro One Ombudsman
 
Recently, my office received some calls from Hydro One customers who have concerns with their Hydro One bills. If you have a complaint or a concern you can contact the Hydro One Ombudsman, Fiona Crean. Ms. Crean is an independent investigator who reviews and resolves complaints from Hydro One customers. Her office investigates complaints about unfairness in the delivery of services, but cannot investigate decisions made by government bodies (the setting of electricity rates, for example) or the decisions to change the ownership structure of Hydro One.
 
If you have a customer service complaint or a concern with your bill, the first step is to raise it directly with Hydro One at 1-888-664-9376 or CustomerCommunications@HydroOne.com. If the issue did not get resolved, then contact the Ombudsman’s office. There are several ways to file a complaint:

-   Online complaint form at HydroOneOmbudsman.com
-   Call 1-844-608-8756
-   Fax 1-416-345-6129
-   Email Ombudsman@HydroOne.com
 
When filing your complaint, make sure to include as much information as possible including your name, address and all relevant details and history.

Column: May 5, 2016

Have your say: Permanent Signs on Private Property By-Law Review

The City is reviewing the Permanent Signs on Private Property By-Law 2005-439. The current By-law dates back to 2005 and although there have been tweaks and technical amendments to it since then, it is now time to take a broader view to make sure that signs in Ottawa meet key objectives for signage and that the By-law reflects emerging technologies and trends.

Please visit ottawa.ca for the full details on the review including the key objectives and a discussion paper. Details are also noted on how residents can provide input and suggestions. Comments need to be received by May 13, 2016. For more information contact Sarah Newell at Sarah.Newell@ottawa.caor 613-580-2424 ext 12448.

In May try fitness opportunities for free

Ottawa residents have the entire month of May to sample a variety of fitness opportunities at City recreation facilities. Simply visit a participating facility to set up your free membership access card, which will provide you with three FREE visits during May. Most fitness centres are participating, so visit ottawa.ca to find a facility near you. For more information call 3-1-1.

Firefighter recruitment

The City of Ottawa firefighter recruitment campaign is underway. If you have the courage, caring and dependability to be a firefighter, visit ottawa.ca/careers for more information. The application period ends May 31.

Emergency Preparedness Week

This week is Emergency Preparedness Week and the City is encouraging residents to plan, prepare and be aware of potential emergency situations in their homes, schools and workplaces. Are you ready?

  • Plan: The City has the “Are You Ready?” program (see ottawa.ca), a grassroots network of community leaders, agencies and individuals who help to deliver emergency preparedness workshops.
  • Prepare: Perhaps the most important step you can take to prepare for an emergency is to put together an emergency kit. It should contain adequate supplies to keep you and your family self-sufficient in your home for at least three days.
  • Be aware: For information and ideas about what you can do to be more prepared, go to ottawa.ca or visit with City staff at the emergency preparedness information exhibit taking place Saturday, May 7, at Ottawa City Hall, 10am-4pm.