Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fire Department's Visit

Things are moving along! This is good!

We now have cameras in the building. I have heard the odd moan that now there is no privacy. To that I have to say, "Who in their right mind expects to find privacy in a public hall?"

For those of us that just want a modicum of security, this is good news. For those of us that are fed up to the ying yang with false fire alarms, this is good news. Those of us who go to bed to sleep and not to hear drug addicts and pushers banging in and out of the fire doors, this is good news. The hope is that this will either discourage this nerve wracking behaviour or that it will identify the dudes and/or dudesses of this nerve wracking behaviour. If you can identify the culprits, catch them in the act, you can stop the noise and destruction.

That is the good news about the cameras. The bad news is that they are not all properly calibrated yet. So Housing would ask any tenant who sees or hears anything that has to do with the problem behaviours , to take note of the time. This will enable the police to find the clip faster. Fast retrieval of the clip makes it faster and easier to I.D. the bad dude and arrest him/her.

Most of us who use Door #4 know that the Intercoms do not all work at this door. In an earlier post, I mentioned that Marion Dunning has told me that they are to be fixed. Tonight I found out that all the panels at all the doors are to be replaced. That is the good news. The not so great news is that the panels have to be brought in from Montreal so it will be a few days. Either Marion or myself or both of us will let you know when they are up and working. Of course, if you watch the closed circuit TV channel, you might just get to see the work being done from your easy chair.

Tonight was the night the Fire Department came to talk to us about Fire Prevention. Mr. Daigle from the Fire Department had some interesting things to say. One of them was that, due to the materials and method used to build this building, this is the best type of building to live in should there be a fire. Each apartment is safe in all except very extreme cases, from spreading fire. What that means is that if a fire happens in another apartment, your best bet is to close your doors and sit it out. It cannot spread to other apartments on its own. This is especially good for the physically disabled who may have difficulty getting out of the building, particularly if they live on a floor other than the ground floor.

One of the things that was discussed was the alarm checks we went through last month. The checking of the alarms is law and must be done. This year however, we had to sit through hours of ringing alarms. I don't know about you, but I was a total wreck after a day of that. Well I found out a few things about it. You can all stop blaming the Fire Department for that one. It is an independent company that does the checks. Since no one has ever had to sit through hours of alarms in past years, it seems that either the checkers were not well trained or were cutting corners or some such thing. Florence and Shaun from Ottawa Housing assured us that they would look into this and get back to us. I think maybe next year when the checks are carried out, we will not get the same treatment. Watch this blog to see what Housing's check on the checkers produces. :o)

Housing will be sending along some info on Neighbourhood Watch. In view of the things that go on around here, this might be a good thing for us to think of getting involved with. The rules have changed since Neighbourhood Watch talked to us last year. At that time, they wanted 50% of the tenants to be involved. That turned out to be unrealistic for us so it died on the drawing table. Apparently, this year, the rules are more realistic for us. When we get the lowdown on this, we will share it with all the tenants. Might be a way to make a difference around here. No one should have to live in fear, so give it some thought.

This country along with the rest of the free world is in a recession to one degree or another. Recessions mean that money is hard to get. Ottawa Housing has a lot of responsibilities - just read your lease. I could be wrong but I don't think I am. We can continue to accept the destruction of our building by a bunch of selfish, thoughtless punks who spend most of their time high on drugs, or we can help weed the bad guys out. We can decide to stop doing the little things that end up costing money. The lease says that Housing is responsible for keeping the halls clean and repaired. Our end of that responsibility is not to add to the mess or the destruction. The carpets look like they are ancient already but they are relatively new carpets. The walls look like they have not been painted in decades - they are covered with foot prints, writing, patch marks where the Maintenance Crews have filled in holes kicked or punched into them. The ceilings are full of holes - the ceilings for crying out loud.

Every one of us had a Mother or Father or siblings, maybe teachers - someone - who wanted more for the little babies we were way back when than life in a ghetto which is what 2100 is turning into. We are big enough and smart enough to do that for ourselves now - well that's what I keep telling people anyway. How about we make a deal with ourselves to try to keep 2100 from continuing on it's downward spiral. How about we try working to get it back up to where it was just a few short years ago. That does not mean you have to go out and scrub floors or paint walls. It means you don't toss your garbage on the floor. You don't punch holes in walls. You get off your duff and carry your garbage out to the garbage bin if it is large or the garbage rooms if it fits down the shoot. Call it getting a little exercise, if you need an excuse.

I have met the new CEO, JoAnne Poirier. I know she is willing to help but she is not our nursemaid. Tenants here in the building have to put a bit of effort into this place too.
So how about it? Are you going to be part of the solution? Because if you are not willing to put even a tiny bit of effort into this place, then you are part of the problem.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Business 101

Good Morning, Class!
Welcome to Business 101

One of the first things that is needed by both the employer, employee and the client in any business is good communications.

Back when Canada was a far off colony, before planes or phones or computers, a message would be issued in London, England, put on a ship where it sat for the weeks that it took to traverse the ocean. When the ship landed in Quebec City or Montreal, the message would be entrusted to a fleet footed messenger who would run and paddle his way to the recipient with it. Today, that same message would arrive in seconds via computer. And today, the leader is no longer in London, England. For most companies, the leader is right here in this neighbourhood.

So why, you might ask, does it still take days, weeks and sometimes, months to get anything done? To study this problem, class, we will look at Ottawa Housing Corporation and it's clients. Let us start with the clients, also referred to as tenants.

The problem that needs addressing, for the sake of this lesson, is secondary. How to handle it is what is important today. Let us say, for expediency's sake, that it is a rent problem. Here is how it is handled by most tenants right now.

We open a letter from Housing that says we did not pay our rent and they are going to evict us if we do not pay up right away.

We get mad because that is an automatic transfer every month. We mutter to ourselves. We curse Ottawa Housing out using every nasty word we know in the privacy of our own little apartment.

We head out to the garden where our friends are. Once there we moan and gripe about Ottawa Housing to our friends. They agree and add their own selection of curse words. When some idiot asks if we have called Ottawa Housing to correct the situation, we toss our hands in the air and say, "They know I paid. They are just trying to screw me out of more money." We repeat this little exercise in the Courtyard and then in the foyer at door #2 and again at the mail boxes at door #3.

When we get home we think maybe that idiot had a point so we call Ottawa Housing.

And we get voice mail. Well, we get voice mail after listening to a recording about all sorts of things that have nothing to do with our immediate problem. We leave a message telling them what we think of them. And then we wait, and wait and wait for an answer.

Now let's look at Ottawa Housing. We get back from lunch - the law says we are entitled to a lunch break. We mess with papers on our desk and comment to the gal beside us about that woman we saw on our way in with the dirty faced kids who are undisciplined and running all over the place - they have a law - the kids I mean - that says you cannot make them do anything and if you try they will see you in court. You do a little work and then it is coffee break - the law says you are entitled. On your way out, you remind yourself to try to get to the voice mail.

Coming back, you check out the clock - Good! Another hour and a half and you can get out of this dump. Oh, Yeah! The voice mail. Hmmmm. A complaint from Joe Blow at 2100 Russell Road. Jane must have sent him out a notice without checking. Oh well! These things happen and that is not a good reason for Joe Blow to call me dirty names. Gee! It is time to go home! Night all!

The two main ingredients - pride and communications - are missing from both sides.

Joe would have been better off to have called the bank and made sure that his rent had indeed been sent out to Housing. Once he knows for sure then he can talk to Housing from a positive position. Knowing the facts is a form of power in a case like this.

It is doubtful that Housing will put rules on the voice mail though a real person answering has proven to be a huge plus for many businesses that have chosen to take this route. But back to Joe. A better message for him to have left would have been, "Hello, This is Joe Blow from Apt 001 at 2100 Russell Road. I am in receipt of your letter of (fill in date) which says my rent is not paid. Please check your books - the bank informs me that this money was transferred to you on the 1st. Please let me know at 555-1234."

For Ottawa Housing, voice mail is not a thing that should be put off. Ignoring it makes small problems grow into big problems. Check it first thing in the morning and then several times a day if you use it a lot. And answer your messages. Solving problems is a part of your job. Have some pride in what you do. Do your job! A short call saying that you have his message and are looking into the problem will let Joe stop his frothing at the bit. Then either solve his problem yourself or delegate it to an underling. A fast look at the accounts should, if they are done correctly,
a) prove to you that his rent is indeed paid or
b) has been mis-allocated which is easily fixed. So fix it!
Then call him back and tell him that you have fixed it. That is just common courtesy. Lucky you! Joe has a computer so you can email him the same message. If he didn't have a computer, good business practice says you write him a letter saying the same thing. Leaving tracks of your work is good!

There is enough stress in this world that you do not need to create more. Doing these relatively simple tasks lessens stress for both the office staff and the tenant. Now Joe can go out to the garden and tell his buddies, " Gee! I just got this horrid letter from Housing. But I called that gal at Housing and she straightened it out right away. What a swell gal!"

And for the tenants it sure beats tossing your arms in the air and making failure a sure thing.

And as a hard working employee, this sure beats going home angry because some tenant called you a name. And it absolutely looks good on your work record that you do your job and do it well.

Summing Up!

If you are a tenant

  • Call with your problems. They do not know what they are if you do not tell them. Osmosis works well for plant life - it is not very useful for humans.
  • Keep your conversation civil. No one is impressed with your vocabulary when it is limited to four letter words and cursing.
  • If you have trouble saying what you want to say, find yourself an advocate - a general advocate, not a lawyer. An advocate is simply someone who will speak for you. Options Bytown is usually willing to be your advocate. But anyone who can take your problem, whittle the anger and misconceptions etc. out of it and present it civilly works.
  • Be persistent. That does not mean call them every five minutes. But it does mean that if they do not respond in a reasonable amount of time, remind them that you are waiting for an answer.

If you work at Ottawa Housing

  • Answer your voice mail. Some you can solve immediately, others will take some work. Let the caller know which this is and how long you expect it will take to solve.
  • If it is a huge problem, it would not hurt to call somewhere along the line just to let the caller know you are in fact working on it and that you have not forgotten them.
  • When it is solved, call and tell them.

Here at 2100 we presently have a problem with the Intercoms at door #4. I know that Marion Dunning knows about this - we have emailed each other about it. But perhaps the guy on the 5th floor does not know she knows. He calls and leaves a voice mail. It takes a minute or two to call him back and tell him the problem is being looked after. Better yet, a notice on the bulletin board and near the elevator at door#4 will let everyone know the problem is being worked on and doing so will cut down on the repetitive voice mails. The tenant does not, because the Intercom is not working, miss seeing a relative that has come here all the way from Timbuktu - he will have been able to make other arrangements for his meeting with them. Everybody is happy and the cost is two sheets of paper and a phone call. Got to wait for a supplier in Montreal? Two more sheets of paper saying it cannot be fixed for three days or whatever. So maybe we are not happy but we can accept that. If you do not tell us, a lot of us are annoyed and some are downright mad.

You have a problem with poor people who live in Housing? Well either adjust your attitude or get another job because you do not belong here. I grant you that there are some here who are abusing the system but it is not a good idea to judge all by a few. Most are here out of a need they had not planned. You could end up here. One never knows what is in the future. A change in the structure at Housing, a change in the economy of the country, a change in the state of your health (e.g. Cancer does not discriminate). Would You want to be treated the way you are treating the tenants under your care? If the answer is 'no', than change your attitude.

Working together is so much easier that working against each other. This is one of those situations just begging to have us work together!

Friday, February 20, 2009

To Correct an Error of Fact

I offer my sincerest apologies for the misinformation noted below in the post entitled Courting Disaster.

On February 16, 2009 I wrote a post about the false alarms that are driving us a tad crazy at 2100 Russell Road. One of my big complaints was the about the fine. I said $80.00. I based that on a letter I had received from the Police. I misinterpreted the information in the letter. Mr. Adami from The Citizen wrote me and pointed out that pulling false alarms is covered by the Criminal Code of Canada and, if caught, the culprit gets a good deal more than an $80.00 fine.

So I did what I should have done in the first place. I researched it. and Mr. Adami is so right!
Pulling a false alarm is considered Mischief under the Criminal Code. Mischief is addressed in Section 430.

Specifically, false fire alarms is addressed under Section 437 and is copied here:


Other Interference with Property

False alarm of fire

437. Every one who wilfully, without reasonable cause, by outcry, ringing bells, using a fire alarm, telephone or telegraph, or in any other manner, makes or circulates or causes to be made or circulated an alarm of fire is guilty of

(a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or

(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

R.S., c. C-34, s. 393; 1972, c. 13, s. 31.

So what is the difference between a summary and an indictable offence? Well it is a tad complicated but one of the things the Crown looks at among others is the type, the quantity and quality of the evidence. If one person has evidence and shares it, that's good. If 20 people have evidence and share it - that's better. If you see the back of the culprit, that has some value. If you catch him pulling the alarm on your Blackberry, that's better. And there are so many possible "ifs" that the Crown has to look at in deciding which way to go. But the police have to catch the guy or gal in the first place.

Unfortunately, we have all watched TV shows, both fiction and true stories, where the bad guy gets away because people were afraid to come forward when they knew something. The trouble with that is that if a bad guy gets away with something once, he will do it again, and again and again. Maybe the last 20 false alarms here have been pulled by 20 different guys but I don't think so. If we really have 20 sickos in the building who pull false fire alarms, then, man oh man! are we ever in trouble in this building!

If you know something and don't tell the police or the firemen who respond, then you are making it easier for this dude to pull that alarm again. Right now, when that fire alarm goes off, no one moves. Why should we? It's just that jerk playing games again. Right? What if there is a real fire and none of us move? If we, you and me, are nothing but a hunk of char, it's a wee bit too late for us, isn't it? Or what if the Fire Department is busy checking out our false alarm instead of racing off to a real fire? The difference between living through a fire and dying in one can be just a few minutes - the few minutes they are here instead of there. I guess the questions we all have to ask ourselves is,

  1. if we know something are we brave enough to report it?
  2. If we don't and someone dies in a real fire somewhere else because the Fire Department were here instead of there, could we sleep well knowing we could have prevented it?
  3. If you cannot work up any empathy for others, from a purely selfish point of view, are you not sick of hearing that darned alarm going off all the time?

My answers:

  1. I am pretty sure I am brave enough;
  2. I would never get a decent night's sleep and
  3. I am really and truly fed up with alarms going off all the time.

The description of 'Mischief' is covered by The Criminal Code of Canada, Section 430.

A description of a Summary and an Indictable offence can be read at one of these sites.


The bottom line - let's get this dude out of circulation!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Province, City, OHC - Enablers?? Why?

Could some one tell me why?

Why is it that a tenant down the hall from me was very quickly given an eviction notice because he broke a rule but the gal on the 4th floor that a number of tenants have been complaining about for over four years and who has broken just about all the rules is still here?

It is true that the guy down the hall was breaking a rule. He was allegedly subleasing from another tenant who moved out. And I am guessing that he suffers from paranoia - he told me that the girl across the hall from me was poisoning him through the air vents. He also liked to talk very loudly in the wee hours of the morning on his cell phone which he had to go out into the hall to use - this building is really hard on cell phone users. One official complaint that I know of and he has an eviction notice.

The gal on the fourth floor has broken just about every rule in the book - certainly every section of her lease agreement, and she is still here and there is no indication that she is going to be evicted.

A year and a half ago, we had a meeting with Housing and one of the questions then was, "Why is she still here?" We were told that Housing had no complaints about her. Several of us know that this is not true as we have complained mightily. She is a drug addict. She has invited other drug addicts and drug pushers into the building. She and her motley crew of friends have destroyed the peace of a lot of tenants for years now. She and her motley crew of friends have threatened other tenants. She and her motley crew have destroyed mail boxes, carpets, hall ceilings and undoubtedly more. She has a washing machine in her apartment which is not allowed to the rest of us. Judging from the yelling and screaming, audible to a good many in the courtyard, she has apparently and (to keep this quite legal) allegedly conducted scams from her apartment. In the summer when the doors and windows are open the noise from there sounds very much like a brothel. She and her friends are constantly bumming from the other tenants. Yet she is never given an eviction notice. Would someone please explain this. As that gossip rag used to say, "Inquiring minds want to know!"

In fact there are a number of drug addicts living in this building and disturbing other tenants to one degree or other. Complaints are seemingly lost about them. This brings to mind a lot of questions like, "Does someone at Housing have some sort of vested interest in the drug subculture of Ottawa? Maybe it's someone at City Hall or the Province - complaints to them fall on deaf ears also. Does it have to get as bad as this case in Hamilton
before anything is done? Oops! Dumb me! It already has gotten this bad. See Mr. P's Story

I am still looking for an answer to the original question, "WHY?" And while you are at it, why do the Province, the City of Ottawa and The Ottawa Housing Corporation continue enabling drug addicts at our expense and the taxpayer's expense?

Shame on you Ottawa Housing Corporation!
Shame on you Ottawa! Shame on you, Ontario!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Washday Blues

Good News for all those who use Door #4 as their main entrance. Yesterday I received a message from our Building Manager that the intercom system which has been out of whack for some time is on the list for repair. I will let you know when it is up and working again. In the meantime, it seems that the Intercoms at Doors #1 and #2 do work. You might send visitors and deliveries who do not have cell phones to one of them until then.

If you are new to 2100 or if you just never knew because no one ever told you, there is a big bin in each of the laundry rooms. It is intended to put clothes and linens that you no longer want but that are not ready for the garbage yet. People in need can then take what they want. Recycling at it's best! Sad to say, there have been a few people who are short on consideration and/or brains who put dirty clothes and/or garbage in the bins. So just to make it clear to anyone not in the know, here are a few rules regarding those two bins.
  • Put clean clothes and linens only.
  • Put in things that are in good repair. Torn or badly stained items should be put in the garbage.
  • Do not put loose shoes in the bins. Like clothes, shoes should be reusable and clean and put in a grocery bag to prevent them messing up the clothes and linens or becoming separated.
On the subject of the laundry rooms - There are signs up but some people do not read them so I will put it here too. Clean out the lint trap in the dryer after every use. Lint burns better than any kindling wood you ever saw, so letting it build up can be dangerous. Also it is just common courtesy for the next person to use the machines.

For the drug addicts in the building, here is a novel idea - When you need money for drugs, try working for it! Stop breaking our machines and stealing the money from them.

There is no law that says landlords must supply laundry facilities. It is a privilege to have them, not a right. The alternative is a walk to the shopping center and the laundromat there which I am grateful I do not have to do in the winter months. A private landlord, faced with the deliberate destruction of the machines that has gone on here would remove them. Ottawa Housing has not chosen that path but it would not totally surprise me if they faced one more deliberately broken machine and pulled the plug on our having our own laundry facility.

Ever filled a machine, put your money in and found out after that it was broken? No fun! So why not take a moment and put a note on the machine that it is Out of Order? And then call the company and tell them so they send someone to fix it. They do return your money, by the way. And you save the next guy from having a similar experience. Maybe someday the favour will be returned. :o)

If you own a Queen or King sized comforter, our machines are too small to wash them. The laundromat at Elmvale, however, does have machines that can accommodate them.

Many of the problems I hear about that originate in the laundry room are avoidable. But it does take a little common courtesy and thought. Most people in this building are pretty decent and do the logical thing. It only takes one jerk to mess things up. In the words from an old TV show, "Your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to teach the jerk!" :o)

One last thought. How hard is it to bend over and pick up the softener sheet when it falls on the floor and put it in the garbage? Gotta ask those who leave them lying around - What happened to your last maid? And if you can afford a maid, where is she when you do the laundry and what are you doing living here in subsidized housing?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Courting Disaster!

Last month I told you about the fire alarms and our problems with false alarms. Well tonight we had another. At 9pm. I did what I always do when the alarm goes off. I turned on the TV to the closed circuit TV of the doors. I checked to see if there was anything remotely like smoke or fire in the court yard. I checked out in the hall. No one even bothered opening their door this time.

On the TV, I could see a couple of the gals who had been playing beanbags in the lounge but other than that, nothing. The Fire Department never came - the alarm was turned off from here eventually. There was no fire!

The paragraph below contains facts which are incorrect Those have be struck out. See

That brings to mind two issues that no one seems to want to talk about or do anything about. The first of these is the false alarms themselves. How do we stop them? Digital cameras were suggested by Mr.Loveridge. With today's technology, it is possible that they are there already and are, for all intents and purposes, invisible to anyone but the technicians, but who knows? If they are, I certainly hope whoever gets the tapes, caught tonight's little prankster. And I hope they throw the proverbial book at him! Just in case you are unaware, these days 'the book' is $80.00 - a real deterrent! And if you read sarcasm into that, that's ok. I wrote it with sarcasm. $80.00 will not even slow them down.

$80.00 for bringing the Fire Department out probably barely covers the cost of running those fire trucks from the Fire Station to here. If those men and women are here chasing a false alarm when a real call comes in and someone dies because they did not get there fast enough, do we tell the victim's family, "Oh well, we're sorry. The Fire Department was chasing a false alarm at 2100 Russell Road but we caught the guy who pulled it and fined him." $80.00! Is that what a charred body is worth these days?

Maybe if you try putting yourself in the place of the victim's family or even think of yourself as the victim who just loses his home and all his possessions but keeps his life, you would start lobbying to have that fine made into something that is more of a deterrent. But this is all academic as we never catch them anyway. Maybe less discussing those cameras and more speedy installation is called for. And maybe a fine that really hurts the jerk who pulls those false alarms wouldn't hurt either.

The other thing about fire alarms in this building is that they go off so often, both false alarms and those way too frequent monthly tests - so frequent that no one pays them any mind. No one moved when this one went off. The Fire Department wrote me to tell me that it is the law that the alarms are tested monthly. Well I say that familiarity breeds contempt. This is true of more than personal relationships. It is true of way too many fire alarms. And at 2100 Russell Road, between the false alarms and the frequent checks, we hear so many fire alarms that no one moves further than the off box on their wall when they hear one. It might have sounded like a good idea - monthly checks - but no one used any psychology in making that decision or they would have known that too much of a good thing is NOT a good thing.

I do not know who made these rules but they really do need to be reworked, fine tuned, hell, any kind of logical tuning would work better than this. If there ever is a real fire in this building, there is going to be a lot of dead bodies. Are the Provincial and City governments going to wait until that happens? And they look so bad no one in their right mind would vote them in again? Or the possible law suits put them farther behind the *8* ball than they are now? Maybe your next stop should be at the Education System’s door - bring Logic back as a subject. It seems to be missing in a lot of people's thinking. Change the law to make it useful, not the useless legislation we have now.

Law that does not work is not good law.

This is not good law!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Anatomy of a Building

2100 Russell Road is not a new building. One of the things it does not do well is handle the water and the water pressure associated with washers in individual apartments. This sometimes causes the water in another apartment to back up or the pipes to leak.

As we all signed a lease and of course we all read the lease before we signed it, we all know that we cannot have our own personal washer.(Section 6.8 of your lease). It is a pain in the butt having to take my clothes all the way downstairs to wash them! It's a bigger pain in the butt to spend a day cleaning water up off my floor or walking all the way to Elmvale Shopping Center to use that laundromat. I think I will stop groaning and be grateful that I have not one laundry room, but two and not one washer but 6 to chose from and that I do not have to drag my laundry off to Elmvale. Yup!! Things could be worse! Especially glad I don't have to go out with my laundry when it is -20°C.

If you are one of the few people who have sneaked a washer in here, you might try giving a thought to your neighbours and the misery you cause them. If empathy is not part of your make up, you could consider that by having a washer, you are breaking your contract with Housing and that it is a cause to eviction.

I have mentioned this before but I will mention it again for those few who do not know what I am talking about.

Larger buildings circulate air via air vents. In apartment buildings there are usually one or more air vents, most often found in the kitchen and/or bathroom. At 2100 we have 2 vents per unit. One in the bathroom which is sealed and one in the kitchen which has a little door that opens downward. Behind that little door is a filter. One of the bonuses of living in an Ottawa Housing Apartment is that Housing supplies the filters.

Filters should be changed ever three or four months. Housing apparently do not change the filters - you change your own. It is really a 'piece of cake' to change your air filter. You will find it near the ceiling and in the corner to the far left of the stove. Loosen the screw until the door swings down. Remove the old filter and put the new one in. Close the door and refasten the screw. A 2 minute job that will definitely have you breathing easier and cleaner. Well , maybe 5 minutes if you are a wobbly old crow when using a ladder, like myself. :o)

You didn't know that filter was to be changed? Oh! Just never thought about it! Well don't feel bad. I didn't think about it much either. But when a cold or virus started making the rounds of the building, it came to mind in a hurry. So I asked. Would you believe, the Maintenance Department has a huge box of filters just waiting for you to ask for one. I changed mine. It was black with the dust of at least the four years I have lived here.

As those of you who were here when the Royal Vic loped off my nose and the Queensway Carlton built me a new one from skin grafted from my forehead know, I can't smell much. I do know when that girl that bathes in Avon is about or when a skunk has been chased by dogs but most things don't register anymore. So I do not smell the smells I hear a bunch of folks griping about. They apparently come through the air vents. This is just a guess, but I think a clean air filter might give you less to gripe about too.

So do yourself a favour and change the filter. If perchance you cannot do this by yourself or at all, give me a holler the next time you see me - I'm the gal with the walker and the little chihuahua dog. I will find someone to help you change it.

Why didn't the Building Manager tell you this? Who knows! Probably the poor girl is worn out writing letters to seniors making them take up their 'Welcome Mats' to do anything as mundane as tell you to change your air filters.

Friday, February 13, 2009

A friend just wrote with the URL below. You never know who the bad guys are, do you?

If you are one of the ones who was taken in by a lady from this building who made herself indispensable only to run off with your money, call the police. They are working on the case and any help they can get, can only help take this lady out of circulation. If you say nothing, that gives her the freedom to do this to some other person in some other building. Don't you wish someone had taken her out of circulation before she reached you?

In the Maintenance Room there are boxes filled with filters. They go in the air vent in your kitchen. They should be changed every three months. The Maintenance Men are not allowed to change them for you and our Building Manager has not told any one they are here. But They are here!! So you can ask one of the maintenance men to give you one and change it yourself, or you can let me know and I will find someone to come with me and we will change it for you. They filter out dirt and odors and probably viruses that get circulated in the air.

I just talked to Maintenance - 613-731-1182 - about the intercoms at door 4 not working. He tells me that one phone call leaves the problem at the bottom of the list priority wise. The more people who call, the higher up it goes on their priority list. So if the Intercom has caused you to miss visitors/deliveries, call them and put in your complaint.

There is strength in numbers!
Be a part of that strength!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cons, Scams and etc.

This week has been very stressful for some tenants here. Two separate situations have occurred and they both need to be considered by the tenants and also by OHC.

The first involves buying stolen property from the drug addicts. I was going to write something myself but I found this very good article on the same subject. It is copied here with permission from
Marjorie Crew of in Chatham, Ontario

Don’t Buy Crime

Someone has offered you a great deal on clothing, food, meat, tools, computers, laptops, etc….buyer beware.

You might be about to purchase items that may be stolen.
If you purchase stolen goods, knowingly or not knowing you are in possession of stolen goods and that is a crime.

So... you think you got a good deal.

Your good deal is a huge contributor to the reason that our insurance rates are high, cost of food and other merchandise escalates.

We ALL pay the cost for your good deal and for crime.

So.... you think that you are helping the shoplifter out during hard times.
You could be possibly indirectly purchasing drugs. The offender will take the money you give them and go straight to a drug house. You are part of the problem if you are supporting a drug habit through purchasing stolen goods.

Don’t support crime by purchasing items that you suspect may be stolen. If you suspect someone is attempting to sell stolen goods, report it to the police, and most of all….


The most often sold items here are meat and Ensure. The meat is out and out theft from a grocery store and the Ensure is more along the lines of fraud of the Provincial Government. Buying either is buying stolen merchandize and is illegal. Ignorance of the law is not a valid remedy in court. So I repeat what the East Side Pride have written -


The second incident is a con. Someone is friendly. Makes themselves most helpful and gets you to a point where you trust them without having any doubts. Then they 'borrow' money from you and disappear out of your life. This con is harder to deal with - most betrayals involving someone you trusted are hard to deal with. In another way they are the easiest to deal with. Here are some things you can do to protect yourselves from this type of scam.

  1. Do not keep cash around the house. If all you have is laundry change and Bingo money, you have nothing for them to borrow.
  2. Never go to the bank to withdraw just to loan to someone else. If you have to go to the bank, they want more money than you should be loaning them.
  3. If you do loan out small change, be sure to get it back. No one is in this building because they are rich. We all know that even $2.00 is a lot of money if you don't have it. If it is not paid back, do not loan anything to that person again. Sounds harsh! Maybe it is. But what is a lot harder to live with is having someone who started out borrowing $2.00 take you for every cent you have and disappearing.
  4. Do not loan more than you can afford to lose. If someone wants $10.00 or $100.00 and giving it to them is going to put you in a bad financial spot, don't give it to them.
  5. Remember that YOU are #1 in your life. No matter what sad tale they tell you, if giving is going to be a hardship for you, don't give. Take care of yourself (#1) first.
  6. Remember, 'If it is too good to be true, it probably is!' If anyone tells you they can turn your spare change into a fortune, it is unlikely that you will see it again. The fortune they are talking about is the one where they add your money to the money they have already scammed from others. And THEY keep it as THEIR small fortune!
  7. The absolute best response to anyone wanting to borrow is "NO!"
  8. The most recent alleged con in this building usually added a warning such as 'Don't tell anyone or don't tell Joe or whoever they know you confide in. So do confide in someone if you loan money out. If it is not really a scam, the borrower should have no real problem with the fact that you tell your son/daughter or friend. Just don't turn it into gossip - there is a difference between a confidence and gossip!
  9. If you find that you have been the target of a fraud artist, con artist or call them what you want, call the police and report them if it is a sizeable amount. If it is $5.00 or $10.00 write it off as a lesson learned and do not loan willy nilly to anyone else. If it is a sizeable amount call OHC and report them if they live in the building. OHC does not want them living here any more than the rest of us.

There are legal remedies for all of this. But every time you have to resort to going to the law to get your money back, it costs you. So practice saying "NO!" to borrowers, especially those needing large amounts of money. Actually, in this building, say "NO" to anyone bumming from you. A toonie from you and a toonie from me and a toonie from the guy next door is enough toonies to get high on for a drug addict.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Little Things Mean a Lot!

Like everyone else at 2100 Russell Road, I received a package from OHC on my door. It had the winter 2009 Newsletter and the 2009 calendar. It also had a frig magnet! And what a great frig magnet it is! It has the phone numbers for Housing, Maintenance, Security, Police and Fire Departments.

One of the biggest complaints I hear when talking to people about the noise or the destruction is, "I don't have the phone number!" I know one senior who has lived here so long that the numbers on the sticky they gave her way back when, have been washed away. Now we all have a new set of numbers and hopefully everyone will put them on the frig where they know where to look. Thank you OHC for including that in this winter's little package!

The cost probably was not little but the new camera(s) is. There may be more but the one I have noticed is in our mail room. With tax refunds in the offing, I am quite sure a lot of people who get their cheque sent to their mail box will feel a little more secure about actually seeing it. I have also noticed that the light is turned out in the mailman's room which makes it harder to see what people have in their individual mail boxes. Good Plan! Thanks OHC.

I have not seen this myself but I have been told that there is a security man who walks the building several times after midnight. That might have a lot to do with how quiet is usually is at night now. Thanks Mr. Dube and OHC! This is very much appreciated.

This next one is not new but I am sure these folks seldom ever get thanked. The snow removal crews have been very busy this year - haven't seen this much snow for a long time myself. Thanks to all the crew who try to keep ahead of or at least up with Mother Nature!

A proper garbage pail may not seem like much but it really is if you do not have one. We now have one at door two. Hopefully, the garbage that has previously ended up on the ground, will now find its way into that pail. For some of us, this is not just a place to hang our hat; It is home. We like to keep our home neat and tidy. Thanks OHC for that possibility.

I should add my own personal thanks to Al at OHC. My upstairs neighbour who had tormented me for months with her 'Hill, The Mover' routine at 3 a.m., has been extremely quiet of late. I know Al talked to her and a few others about this kind of noise - not heard by Security when they make their rounds. Thank you, Al for the peace and quiet and a chance to get a good night's sleep!

Pete Cooney was here for a week. I know a lot of the newer folks do not know who he is but all the seniors who have been here for some time do. They were thrilled to see their old friend again. Thanks for the working visit, Pete!

A private party was held in our Lounge this past weekend. The lady who gave the party had a lot of edible goodies left over and kindly left them for our Bingo Buddies Sunday Afternoon Bingo. There is absolutely not a doubt that they were enjoyed and appreciated. Thank you to that hostess also!

To all those people who have their own personal complaints, call the proper number - you have that frig magnet now so there is no excuse. I have heard many times that 'They know what the problem is. They just don't do anything about it." Try to remember that your apartment is one of thousands of units that OHC is in charge of. Perhaps in a general way, they do know what the problems are but it is your responsibility to tell them the specifics. They can't do anything if they do not hear from you. And no matter how frustrated you are, you will get more and better help if you maintain a civil tongue in your head. So, if it is an adjective that starts with an f and ends with an ing, don't use it! Are you old enough to remember Dragnet's Joe Friday? "The facts, ma'am. Just the facts!" If you know you are going to get hot under the collar talking about it, write it down before you call. Take all the curse words and such out and try to keep it to 'the facts'.

If you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem!
Do not be a part of the problem!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Is There a Remedy in Law?

Section 5 of The Lease

~ Where law ends, there tyranny begins. ~
William Pitt

William Pitt died 203 years ago last month but it sure feels like he lived here when he said that.

The law died at 2100 Russell Road the day that Housing turned this building into a mixed bag. By definition, a tyrannical form of rule has an absolute dictator not restricted by a constitution, by laws or by opposition.

Contrary to what one might think, Ottawa Housing Corp. is not the tyrant. The tyrants are the drug addicts and their friends who have the law abiding citizens living in fear, in filth and with no discernible help from OHC and precious little from the police.

Why do I say that? Well if you call the police about something that you know but cannot prove, their standard answer is "Nothing we can do until they do something". I guess that means that if they intend to kill me, I can't hope the police will stop it until they actually pull the trigger at which time it is too late. OHC, as mentioned in an earlier post, can't tell you anything because absolutely everything is "confidential".

And if you complain to them, well it apparently is not recorded or the two addicts who have been tormenting the entire wing I live in would be long gone. Besides, when we mentioned this couple of addicts to them last year, they claimed to have no complaints about them. I strongly urge everyone here to write out their complaints. Telephone conversations are too easy to lose, erase, ignore or whatever. The problem as I see it is that we have people here who are illiterate, or literate but not articulate and people like this are so easy to put off, confuse, or otherwise ignore. Coming from people who have jobs that were designed to help, this is a very poor conclusion to come to but I see no other.

Add to that a Building Manager who spends as little time in the building as possible. Our Building Manager has probably spent more time harassing the seniors about their Welcome mats than managing. Well it does not take a rocket scientist to see that the bad guys have no competition when it comes to ruling.

The question was and is, 'Is There a Remedy in Law?'. The answer should be 'yes! The lease - a legal document signed by both tenant and a representative of OHC. These tenants (active drug addicts and thieves) are in violation of sections 5.1 and 5.2 of that lease. OHC covers their butt with a clause "The Landlord's ability to enforce these requirements is limited by the willingness of tenants to act as witnesses." The tenants are terrorized! Finding willing ones is not easy, especially if one does not work at it and believe me, it is hard to find anyone who has ever been encouraged even slightly by OHC. Why would OHC try to encourage anyone? It means 'work!' Oops, I used a 4 letter word! It also means that they have to care. Oops again! Another 4 letter word.

It sure would be really nice to have them make a liar out of me but I won't hold my breath. But if they do and it is more than a one time gasp, well I am a true Sagittarian - very big on fairness! I would write a blog to apology to end all blogs of apology. Further, I would print it out and put it up on our board - well maybe if one of the things they did was to find out who is tearing down everyone's bulletin board notices and have them cease and desist from continuing to be a pain in the butt. What a shame they all suffer from communication phobia. I know a lot of tenants who would love to hear that there was some hope attached to putting a notice on the board.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

More communication stuff

“Communication is the real work of leadership.”

- Nitin Nohria

It's been a great morning! No one stole my newspaper today! Now that is a plus!!

I went downstairs for my mail in a very dirty elevator - cigarette butts and something sticky all over the floor. When I came here, this elevator had a ceiling and a big mirror and it was usually clean. Looks like someone stole our mirror and the ceiling a while back! Don't get the wrong message here - we do have a young man who cleans it. We also have a bunch of 'brought up in a barn' type tenants we either did not used to have or they have gotten sloppier with time. Our cleaner is fighting a losing battle!

Passed a gent who has been here a long time - well longer than I have. He points out the garbage left outside the door and tells me that the buzzer does not work. I told him to call Maintenance about the buzzer. He says, "What's the point? They don't care and now I do not care either!"

At the mail room I ran into one of the senior ladies. She put a notice on the board about the buses that she thought people would be interested in. Someone took it down. I understand her discouragement. I put up coupons and a notice for free income tax service for those who need it and they were also taken down. We wonder out loud to each other if the new camera system there picked that up or not. Who knows? Housing will not see this as important. But that board is important to the tenants who use it to communicate with other tenants about a wide variety of things. My understanding is that the seniors put it there with Housings blessings.

Also ran in to one of the several "recovering drug addicts". I really feel for these folks. Some of today's drugs are so very addictive and recovery should be recognized as the difficult thing it is. And while we are all likely to run into an active addict as we carry on our daily lives, it is, I think, a good deal harder for a recovering addict here, where active drug addicts rule the roost and offer constant temptation and/or torment to those making a huge effort to stay clean. This particular person complained about an upstairs neighbour who is noisily on the go all night long, keeping the occupants of his apartment awake and stressed out. I understand the frustration. I have an upstairs neighbour who did a similar thing. I, fortunately, got some relief to this problem. I wanted to tell him how I got Housing to deal with it but he is so disgusted he is not wanting to listen. Perhaps Housing could have a set formula for this type of complaint so that it is as successful for all as it was for me. And it was successfully dealt with for me!

While we talked another tenant came along. She has been here for about a year but had no idea that there was a second laundry room should she find the one she uses full. I mention that I thought we need an Orientation meeting with new tenants for this very reason. Also to point out where the garbage rooms are so that garbage is not left in the mail room or at the doors or in the halls. She fairly lights up at the thought of an Orientation. I wonder why Housing has always fluffed it off. I have mentioned it to them before. There are people here who would love to volunteer to do this. Well they would if we asked! And we could ask using our bulletin board. Well we could if our notices could stay there for more than a day before being ripped down.

One last thing lest I am seen as being an ungrateful old bat, thanks for the cameras and the security guard I am told has been seen walking the halls here at night. I know it is very much appreciated.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Fine Art of Communicating

Q: What's the difference between a landlord and a terrorist?
A: You can negotiate with a terrorist.

I really thought that having a non-communicative landlord was just an Ottawa Housing Problem. Having searched the web for a short time, I see it is not. Depending on the search words used, it is possible to get as many as 5,410,000 places to look. Seems like we have a lot of company!

At the end of last year I thought I could communicate with Ottawa Housing. They gave me every reason to believe I could. I even got an appointment with the CEO. And indeed, she and the head of this quadrant I live in, showed up and we talked. Quite civilly too! We talked about the mess this place had become, the addicts that terrorized the rest of us, the ways they terrorized us etc. A meeting was set up with them for the tenants at our building and our neighbouring building. I sincerely thought it would be to discuss the ways of dealing with the criminal element in our midst and the security measures that would work. Instead, they talked about bugs - not a problem in this building generally speaking. So I guess my first suggestion would be to pick a topic that is of interest to the tenants being addressed.

We did get to scratch the surface of the security problems. Housing made mention of cameras being installed in a few crucial spots to catch the bad guys in the act of destroying our building. Three weeks later, we still do not know anything more about cameras, if they will be in fact, put in or not. The other tenants, most with more experience with OHC than I have, are throwing their arms in the air and saying, "See! We told you nothing would be done!"

We do have cameras at the doors - different cameras designed for a different purpose. We can see who is at the door by turning on the TV to a station just for those cameras - closed circuit TV. For close to three months they were out of order. Some tenants, getting a tad annoyed that our calls to Maintenance were being ignored, went door to door to get signatures on a petition to get them fixed. In a very short time, they were fixed. Ah! The power of numbers!!

All is well in that area? Well, not entirely. Rumour has it - I did not hear this myself - that the Building Manager came over and took a strip - well tried to anyway - off the President of our Tenant Association about the petition. This is not quite what we have in mind when we talk about communicating.

When we complain about the destruction, theft and fear tactics we are told Housing is looking into it. When asked where things stand we are told "it is confidential". Sounds to most of us like a fancy way of saying, "Nothing". And so far most of us have been right. The same people are destroying things, stealing from us and OHC and generally putting fear into most everyone but especially the seniors. Little children are housed here now and we are still finding needles and drug paraphernalia lying around. Small wonder people here are fed up, have given up hope in the system and feel that the bad guys get all the protection while the good guys get none.

And that legal document we all had to sign when we moved in here - our lease - it is apparently not worth the paper it is written on. It certainly is not acted on in any visible way - barring the item about non payment - that one is always acted on.

Well our chat is over. Our meeting is over. And judging by the silence from Housing, so are any efforts to help us out. A letter with the plans to do this or that would sure make us feel better. Oh yeah! That's communications. Silly me! Thinking that Housing would communicate! Perhaps they are mad that the newspapers were contacted. To that I can only say, the track record of past issues brought to Housing pretty well says that for the media they will do something when for us they don't.

However, just in case anyone from Housing bothers to read this, here is an offer. You come up with a plan to rein in the bad guys - the active drug addicts. Write it in a letter and I will personally deliver one to each door in this building.

If you cannot give us some hope and some help, then............................

Shame on you Ottawa Housing Corporation!
Shame on you Ottawa! Shame on you, Ontario!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

'To Manage'

Our newly washed carpets

We, the tenants need, and you, the taxpayer needs Housing to hire Building Managers who do a lot more than we are getting and that taxpayers are paying for. Below is a portion of that same job description that appeared in yesterday’s post. I have highlighted three lines that are pertinent to today's post.

• Maintaining financial status of the condominium unit by having input into forecasting requirements; preparation of annual and long-term budgets; monitoring variances; identifying trends; recommending actions to board; controlling costs; identifying current and future community requirements by conducting surveys and discussions with residents.
Resolving resident dissatisfaction by investigating complaints; implementing appropriate solutions; enforcing the terms of the declaration, by-laws and rules and regulations which may be amended from time to time; securing the building by establishing and enforcing precautionary policies and procedure; installing and maintaining security devices and lighting; contracting with monitoring services; responding to emergencies; consulting with the Board with respect to any changes to by-laws, rules and regulations.
Maintaining common areas of the condominium unit and guest suites; facilitating guest suite bookings, and collecting payment for same

Above is a picture of part of our carpet. All five floors are carpetted. When it was a Senior's Residence, the carpetting lasted for more than 15 years if what I hear from the long time seniors is correct. This carpet is comparatively new. What you are looking at is how it looks less than two months after it was last washed. It's worse near the elevators where the addicts, watching for their pushers at the windows, chain smoke and then butt out on the floor.

Who is to blame for it being so filthy dirty and burn marked already? A handful of tenants! And what can we do about them and their destructive behaviour? Absolutely nothing! How do I know this? Well I, for one, have complained to deaf ears at Ottawa Housing. Last year I wrote OHC a letter, complete with pictures, and in there one of the things I mentioned was returning the ashtrays at the elevators. Since there is no one here to enforce the City By-law about smoking in the halls, it seemed to me that it was far better and cheaper to put the ashtrays back. But the City would prefer to cut off their noses to spite their faces - with YOUR tax money! Of course, who ever chooses the tenants who come here, could use some criteria besides first come, first served. How about "House trained" as criteria?

And since they apparently do use the 'first come, first served' method, then perhaps a visible Building Manager who actually walks around the building more than once a year couldn't hurt. I have no idea what OHC paid for this carpet - 5 floors in a 200+ unit building - but I can promise you it wasn't the price of a bag of chicken feed. Add to that the amount they pay for a Building Manager who does not manage - that is one hefty price tag. It is also counter Accounting 101 at any reputable school in the country. If the City of Ottawa feels bound to house a bunch of bums and thieves, couldn't they put them all in a separate building instead of wrecking every building they have with a few in each?

The verb 'To Manage' means to watch and direct; to deal successfully with; to be in charge of; to achieve a goal. Would someone please tell the person who manages this building what it means. I do not think that person knows!

In fairness to OHC, last year they did come out and race around fixing holes in the walls and broken windows. With perfectly normal people, that might have worked. But drug addicts are not perfectly normal people. At least not the ones here. They break things just 'because they can'. So, within a month, we were back to the status quo. Perhaps if OHC is going to take on drug addicts, they should take a course on drug addiction so they know what they and we are dealing with. You cannot just fix things up and expect them to stay fixed up with drug addicts around - not the ones we have here anyway. Not any of the ones I have ever encountered.

Shame on you Ottawa Housing Corporation!
Shame on you
Ottawa! Shame on you, Ontario!

Monday, February 2, 2009

What is a Building Manager?

Dirty Air Vent out of reach of many tenants
I ask this because Russell Gardens seems to running on it's own steam without a proper engineer, metaphorically speaking. So I went to several employment agencies to see what is usually included in a job description for a 'residential building manager'. I found a fairly comprehensive one. I put the entire description up but I would like to start with the part that is highlighted in yellow.

The Employee’s duties and obligations include but will not be restricted to:
• Maintaining physical operations by conducting inspection of grounds, buildings; obtaining bids; contracting for and supervising landscaping, repair,, overseeing repairs; completing and monitoring contracts; co-ordinating requirements with city and service providers such as telephone, electric, water, planning renovations, moving companies.
• Maintaining financial status of the condominium unit by having input into forecasting requirements; preparation of annual and long-term budgets; monitoring variances; identifying trends; recommending actions to board; controlling costs; identifying current and future community requirements by conducting surveys and discussions with residents.
Resolving resident dissatisfaction by investigating complaints; implementing appropriate solutions; enforcing the terms of the declaration, by-laws and rules and regulations which may be amended from time to time; securing the building by establishing and enforcing precautionary policies and procedure; installing and maintaining security devices and lighting; contracting with monitoring services; responding to emergencies; consulting with the Board with respect to any changes to by-laws, rules and regulations.
• Maintaining common areas of the condominium unit and guest suites; facilitating guest suite bookings, and collecting payment for same.
• Updating job knowledge by participating in educational opportunities; reading professional publications; maintaining personal networks; participating in professional organizations; being familiar with The Residential Tenancies Act (the RTA), the declarations and by-laws of the Corporation including the common elements rules.
• Enhancing community reputation by accepting ownership for accomplishing new and different requests; exploring opportunities to add value to job accomplishments.

Well I think it is fair to say we are dissatisfied. But where do we go with our complaints?

Well if it is a clogged up sink etc., we call Maintenance 613-731-1182.
Some phone person will write up a work order and give it to our Building Manager who will bring a handful of them over in the morning and delegates the work to our Maintenance Crew. Should work! Sometimes it does!

But now say it is the air filter. They are supposed to be changed every three months or there abouts. Our maintenance men are not allowed to do this. Consequently, we have a big box of filters in the Maintenance room that very few tenants know are there. We have tenants who are physically disabled and cannot reach the air vent in order to change them. We have tenants who are in their 80s and 90s and just should have someone else do it for them if for no other reason than they are seniors and most likely fragile, possibly do not have a ladder to reach it and could fall from one if they did.

There are younger and capable tenants living here who could possibly do this. It's hard to find one who would turn their nose up at a pizza or some Timbits for doing some of these things. It would require a bit of planning, some serious volunteer commitments on the part of the younger ones. We all may live here but we do not all know each other and we sure as blazes do not all trust each other - there are thieves and addicts about and that we all know. As problems go, it is a relatively small one, but it is solvable with a little effort. The kind of effort the above job description demands.

But since no one wants to address even the small problems here, we are left with filters that are so dirty, soon men in space outfits will be required to remove them. They are no longer useful - they cannot filter out anything else. They are saturated with whatever is in the air. So we just keep breathing dirty air, possibly getting more colds than we need to fight, and smelling everyone else's household odors.

My filter - the one you see above, I changed about 2 months ago. As you can see it is very dirty already. I had to climb up on my computer chair, (very difficult, it has wheels) and hang on for dear life to the cupboard just to get this picture. I would need help should I have changed it. An 85 year old lady helped me last time!

So here you have three solutions:
  1. Pay a workman to change the filters.
  2. Get some volunteers to do it and pay them with a pizza.
  3. Carry on storing boxes of filters in the Maintenance Room and do nothing.
For the taxpayer reading this, the financial savings is perhaps small, I agree.But as my dear old Grannie used to say, "A penny saved is a penny earned" In times of recession, this is not a bad stance to take at all. Think of all the other places money can be saved with a little thought and some volunteer action.

The question is,"Is anyone at Ottawa Housing Corporation reading this?"

If not.......................
Shame on you Ottawa Housing Corporation!
Shame on you Ottawa! Shame on you, Ontario!