Committee receives update on By-law service and performance

Published on
May 16, 2024
Council, committees and City Hall

The City’s Emergency Preparedness and Protective Services Committee today received an overview of By-law and Regulatory Services’ activities in 2023, including its most recent performance metrics. 

By-law and Regulatory Services is responsible for enforcing and administering more than 50 municipal by-laws, as well as Provincial Acts within the city of Ottawa. Staff operate 144 hours per week and provide near 24-hour citywide service. In 2023, they responded to 100,060 service requests, a 7.6 per cent increase from 2022. Parking enforcement made up 41 per cent of those calls, up from 38 per cent in 2022 and continuing to increase toward pre-pandemic levels. 

The service continues to exceed its standard response times for high-priority service requests, responding within 24 hours more than 92 per cent of the time. Due to increasing call volumes the service did not meet the target for low-priority calls such as property maintenance and zoning complaints. However, the City is continually working to improve service and meet its targets by modernizing its tools and technology and streamlining processes. 

A comparative review of by-law services in Ottawa, Hamilton, Toronto, and Windsor over the past five years showed that Ottawa continues to be a provincial leader in efficient operations, with enforcement staff handling 83 per cent more calls than their municipal peers. 

The Committee also heard an update on FireSmart, a national program that helps Canadians increase their neighbourhoods’ resilience to wildfire and minimize its negative impacts. With a changing climate, the threat of wildfire has increased significantly for everyone, and we all have a part to play in preventing wildfire and reducing risk. Visit Firesmart Canada for practical tools and tips to help you learn how to protect your property and community from wildfires. 

The Committee approved repealing the existing Ottawa Fire Services Establishing By-Law to replace it with a new, updated version. This administrative by-law sets the conditions and levels of services provided by Ottawa Fire Services, and sets certain responsibilities of the Fire Chief, officers, and firefighters. The current by-law was approved in 2009, and the proposed new by-law incorporates updates, standards and best practices that have been introduced at Ottawa Fire Services in the intervening years. It reflects current guidance by the Fire Marshal and conforms to the Fire Protection and Prevention Act and other applicable legislation. 

Items from this meeting will rise to Council on Wednesday, May 29. 

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