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Top five stories in Ottawa this week

Ottawa homeowners are losing thousands to an absentee contractor and a driver accuses the car of going 120 km/h over the speed limit.

CTVNewsOttawa.ca takes a look at the top five stories on our website this week.

A number of Ottawa homeowners want quick action after alleging that a man they hired to do major heating and air conditioning work took their money months ago without completing or, in some case, even start the work.

“He did half the job, left in the middle, installed a water heater that was not up to code and stopped working after a few days,” Dan Cockerham said.

Cockerham hired Mahmoud El Sharafah and his company Comfort Level One Heating and Cooling earlier this year. He says after months of apologizing, he’s going through small claims court to try and get some money back.

This week, Cockerham met strangers he met online who had similar experiences at the Ottawa Police Station. They had filed reports but wanted to go in person to try to expedite the response.

Ottawa police will not comment on this specific case, but say they are investigating complaints as they come in.

Strangers who hired the same man for a job they say was unfinished met for the first time this week at the Ottawa police station. (Katie Griffin/CTV Ottawa)

The acting director of the Parliamentary Protective Service said Mayor Jim Watson’s office would not return a call at the height of the “freedom convoy” last winter.

Larry Brookson told MPs and senators he tried to contact Watson and City Manager Steve Kanellakos during the protests that occupied the streets around the Parliamentary Precinct for three weeks.

But he said he received responses from both of their offices saying they were unavailable to speak.

Brookson added that the mayor’s office had not contacted the Protective Service, which is responsible for security on Parliament Hill, about a failed agreement between the city and the convoy organizers to end the the protest negotiated at its peak.

Watson’s office and Kanellakos told CTV News Ottawa they will appear before the committee this fall.

Strangers who hired the same man for a job they say was unfinished met for the first time this week at the Ottawa police station. (Katie Griffin/CTV Ottawa)

Parking rates, more transparency at City Hall, making Ottawa a “city of music” and economic development plans have highlighted the week in the race for mayor of Ottawa.

Contestants Catherine McKenney, Mark Sutcliffe, Bob Chiarelli, Mike Maguire and others released new parts of their platform over the week.

McKenney promised to bring more transparency to Ottawa City Hall and “end the influence of money” in municipal politics, and presented an economic platform that included extending small business tax credits and attracting a major employer to Ottawa. Sutcliffe outlined a plan to make Ottawa a “city of music,” including revising bylaws to help support musicians and creating a music office.

The issue of parking rates came up during Wednesday’s Green Debate, as candidates were asked about a possible congestion charge to reduce vehicle traffic in the city centre.

Candidate Brandon Bay said if elected mayor he would raise parking fees to “deter driving and use that money to help better maintain the roads and pay for public transit.”

“With the numbers I calculated, if we increase parking rates from an average of $3.12 per hour to around $9 per hour, and include vending machines and vending machines in the stations, we can cover around 75% of all transit fares and get rides for up to around $1 apiece.”

McKenney told the debate that “the best way to provide congestion pricing, I believe, is to increase parking rates in your downtown.”

In a statement on Twitter Friday afternoon, McKenney said their transportation plan for the 2022 election campaign “does not include an increase in parking fees.”

On Tuesday, Sutcliffe appealed for civility on the campaign trail, saying community members and elected officials who have attacked him are contributing to a “toxic environment” at City Hall.

Ottawa police are investigating the discovery of human remains in an apartment building in Vanier.

Construction workers at a three-story building on Deschamps Avenue discovered the remains at the site on Wednesday.

“Excavations at the scene have uncovered what are believed to be human remains,” police said in a statement.

Police said on Thursday the Homicide Unit had taken over the investigation, including forensic identification processes.

Ottawa police remained at an apartment building in Vanier on Thursday, September 29, 2022 after construction workers discovered apparent human remains. (Jeremie Charron/CTV News Ottawa)

A driver facing a stunt charge told officers it was the fault of the car, police say.

An Ontario Provincial Police officer arrested a driver on Loyalist Parkway in Prince Edward County on September 24 who was allegedly traveling 200 km/h.

The speed limit is 80 km/h.

“Their excuse? The car is too fast,” OPP said of the 41-year-old Brighton man who was arrested.

The driver faces a stunt driving charge, which includes automatic vehicle impoundment for 14 days and driver’s license suspension for 30 days.

With files from The Canadian Press

John Smith

The author John Smith