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Canadian call centre reveals silliest 911 calls of 2018

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Cillian O’Brien, CTVNews.ca Staff


Published Thursday, December 27, 2018 1:04PM EST

A Canadian call centre has revealed its top ten reasons not to call 911 for this year, including a motorist reporting their windshield wipers had broken and someone who asked if the clocks move forward or backward in spring.

Among the callers wasting valuable time on the emergency line, was a person complaining that a fast food restaurant wasn’t opened 24-hours-a-day as advertised and someone who lost their jacket.

Another called 911 asking for help turning off their car lights.

B.C.-based E-Comm is the largest 911 call centre in the province and handled more than 1.45 million emergency calls from January to November this year.

“Most people use 911 responsibly,” said Jasmine Bradley, E-Comm’s corporate communications manager.

“But calls such as those on this year’s headscratcher list waste valuable emergency resources that would otherwise be available to someone who’s health, safety or property was in jeopardy or a crime was in progress.”

Staff there implored people not to tie up the lifeline with calls such as consumer complaints or vehicle malfunctions.

Call handler Kayla Ryan took a call about a retailer not accepting a return of shoes without the original box.

“We are here to help people in emergency situations,” said Ryan.

“When someone calls 911 for general information, we still have to confirm the person is safe before completing the call.”

E-Comm reminded the public that 911 is for police, fire or medical emergencies.

“This type of call ties up our ability to help people with real emergencies,” said call taker Heather Andrews.

“Dealing with a complaint about the opening hours of a restaurant is a call that doesn’t belong on 911.”

E-Comm’s top 10 reasons not to call 911 in 2018

1. To complain a local fast food restaurant wasn’t open 24-hours-a-day, as advertised

2. To complain a store won’t take shoes back without the original box

3. To complain that a gas station attendant put the wrong type of gas in their car

4. To report a rental company provided the wrong-sized vehicle for a customer’s reservation

5. To report a restaurant wouldn’t redeem a customer’s coupon

6. To ask for help turning off their car lights

7. To report their vehicle’s windshield wipers had stopped working

8. To find out where their car had been towed

9. To report a lost jacket

10. To ask if the clocks move forward or backward during the spring time change

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LIFESTYLES

Ottawa families give mixed reviews for online schooling

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So, how’s it going with online school? Families reached by CBC Ottawa seem to have mixed reviews. 

Masuma Khan is a mother of two. Her seven-year-old, Hana Wyndham in Grade 2, is attending French immersion virtual school. Masuma is grateful it’s an option, but can’t help notice a lot of down time.

“There’s a lot of, ‘are you on mute?’ In terms of the amount of learning that’s actually happening, it does seem to be not that high,” said Masuma.

Parents who kept their children at home this fall are in the minority, but they still form a significant chunk of families in Ottawa.

In the city’s largest school board, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB), about 27 per cent of elementary students and 22 per cent of high school students chose online learning. The Ottawa Catholic School Board says roughly a quarter of its students are online.

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Top environment official urges Canadians to back Ottawa’s ambitious plans to tackle plastic trash

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The second in command at the federal Environment Ministry challenged Canadians to continue to speak up about the problem of plastic pollution and push elected officials, scientists and businesses to do more.

Quebec MP Peter Schiefke, parliamentary secretary to the minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, made the comments online at Vancouver’s annual zero waste conference on Friday.

He said most Canadians want solutions to curb the tens of thousands of tonnes of plastic garbage that ends up as litter each year on the country’s beaches, parks, lakes and in the stomachs of animals. 

“Making sure that message is heard with industry stakeholders, elected officials and make sure that they are constantly putting pressure on it … so we notice that this is something that Canadians want, the backing of Canadians to go and undertake these huge challenges,” he said.

Schiefke filled in for  Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson at the last minute after Wilkinson was called away to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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OC Transpo’s monthly bus pass one of the most expensive fares in Canada

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OTTAWA — OC Transpo’s monthly bus pass is one of the most expensive passes in Canada, and transit riders are facing another 2.5 per cent hike in transit fares on New Year’s Day.

Ahead of Wednesday’s Transit Commission meeting on the 2021 budget, CTV News Ottawa looked at the cost of a monthly adult bus pass at transit services across Canada. Ottawa ranks behind the TTC in Toronto, Mississauga’s “MiWay”, Brampton Transit and Vancouver “TransLink” Zone 2 access to the suburbs for most expensive transit fares in Canada.

The cost of an OC Transpo adult monthly bus pass is currently $119.50 a month.

The 2021 City of Ottawa budget includes a proposed 2.5 per cent hike in transit fares. If approved, an adult monthly transit pass will increase $3 to $122.50, while a youth pass will increase $2.25 to $94.50 a month.  The cost of an adult single-ride cash fare would rise a nickel to $3.65.

The TTC is the most expensive transit service in Canada, charging $156 a month for an adult fare. MiWay charges $135 a month, and the cost of an adult monthly pass with Brampton Transit is $128.

Metro Vancouver’s transportation network “TransLink” has three fare zones. The monthly bus pass cost for “Zone 1”, which covers Vancouver, is $97 for adults. The “Zone 2” fare, which covers Vancouver and the suburbs of Richmond and Burnaby, is $131 a month.

Edmonton Transit Service, which includes a Light Rail System with 18 stations on two different lines, charges $97 a month for an adult monthly bus pass.

An adult monthly bus pass in Calgary costs $109 a month.

The survey by CTV News Ottawa of transit fares across Canada shows Gatineau has higher transit fares than Montreal and Quebec City. The STO charges $99 a month.

A monthly adult bus pass costs $88.50 in Montreal and $89.50 in Quebec City.

The cheapest adult monthly bus fare is in Charlottetown, at $58.50 a month. A monthly bus pass in Whitehorse costs $62 a month.

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