Memoranda issued by Emergency and Protective Services

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Information on the publication of memoranda

Memoranda issued by the City of Ottawa’s Senior Leadership Team to all Members of Council and the media will be published here when available. The memoranda are published on an ongoing basis as they become available and will remain online for a period of one year from the date of issuance.  Residents wishing to obtain copies of memoranda that are no longer available online should contact the relevant department through one of the City’s general inquiry processes.

In accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA), some attachments have not been proactively disclosed. If you are seeking an attachment that is not available online, please visit for information on filing an access to information request.

Memo: May 2022 Severe Weather Event/Derecho After-Action Review Report (May 3, 2023)

Date: May 3, 2023

To: Mayor and Members of Council

From: Ryan Perrault on behalf of Kim Ayotte, General Manager, Emergency and Protective Services

Members of Council, 

At the March 30, 2023, Emergency Preparedness and Protective Service Committee meeting, Councillor Johnson directed staff “to make the comprehensive after-action report for the May 2022 Derecho/Severe Weather Event publicly available.”

The 2022 Severe Weather Event/Derecho After-Action Review report is attached as Appendix 1 of this memo and will be posted to under the Memorandum issued to Members of Council shortly.

If you have any questions, please contact Beth Gooding, Director, Public Safety Service.


Ryan Perrault on behalf of Kim Ayotte

General Manager, Emergency and Protective Services

cc: Senior Leadership Team

Memo: Status Update on Towing and Storage Regulations and Provincial Regime (September 18, 2023)

Date: September 18, 2023

To: Mayor Sutcliffe and Members of Council

From: Kim Ayotte, General Manager, Emergency and Protective Services

The purpose of this memo is to provide an update on the implementation of the Province of Ontario’s regulatory regime for the towing sector and to outline suggested next steps for Council.

Since January 1, 2022, the City of Ottawa has been regulating the towing sector through a licensing regime that focuses on enhancing consumer protection, public safety, and the protection of property (Schedule No.35 of By-law 2002-189, as amended). Currently, tow service operators, tow truck drivers, and vehicle storage facility operators are required to obtain a business license from the City in order to provide towing services in Ottawa. The regulations also establish transactional rules, prescribed fares and rates for key towing and storage services, and improved conditions at the accident scene through standards for tor truck driver conduct.

The Province of Ontario has enacted the Towing and Storage Safety Enforcement Act, 2021 (TSSEA) to administer and regulate the towing and vehicle storage sector Province-wide through a certification process as well as a variety of standards and regulations. While the legislation and regulations have been developed and implemented in phases, staff expect that the provincial regime will fully replace local municipal by-laws for the towing sector on January 1, 2024, as further noted below.

Staff in Emergency and Protective Services have been engaged in consultation with the Province of Ontario as a member of its Towing Technical Advisory Group and have provided feedback on the development of the regulations under TSSEA.

Towing Safety and Storage Enforcement Act, 2021

The TSSEA establishes a provincial oversight model for the towing sector based on provincial certifications for tow operators, tow truck drivers, and storage providers as well as standards and obligations. Staff’s assessment of the legislation and regulations is that they effectively address the consumer protection, public safety, and protection of property issues that are covered in the City’s own by-law for this sector, and no regulatory gaps have been identified.

The regime under TSSEA will apply across the Province and will be overseen by the provincial Director of Towing and Vehicle Storage Standards who is appointed by the Minister of Transportation. The Director will administer certificate applications, with the ability to issue and renew certificates as well as revoke or suspend certification due to non-compliance, among other powers. The Director will also deal with complaints from the public about towing/storage services.

The TSSEA is being implemented in several phases. In July 2023, the provincial Director began accepting applications for certification under the TSSEA. All tow service operators and vehicle storage operators will be required to be certified under the TSSEA by January 1, 2024 and tow truck drivers will have until July 1, 2024 to be certified.

Overall, TSSEA (together with proposed regulatory amendments):

  • Establishes the Director of Towing and Vehicle Storage Standards and the accompanying Oversight Office to implement, administer and oversee the regulatory regime including issuance of certificates to eligible operators and drivers.
  • Implements driver training requirements, vehicle and equipment standards and criminal record and judicial matters check requirements for all certificate holders.
  • Regulate fares and rates charged by tow service operators, tow truck drivers and vehicle storage operators.
  • Sets customer protection and industry standards including requirements for consent and invoices, professional conduct, record keeping, and vehicle storage notification procedures.
  • Provides for the appointment of specified Ministry of Transportation staff as “Inspectors” under TSSEA as well as police constables within the Province of Ontario
  • Requires that out-of-province operators and tow truck drivers that provide services in Ontario/Ottawa meet all requirements of the TSSEA, including obtaining a provincial certificate.

Towing fares and rates:

The Province of Ontario is not prescribing fares and rates for towing and storage services. Instead, the Province will be requiring certificate applicants to provide their “rate sheet” of proposed fares and rates, at application for approval by the Towing and Vehicle Storage Oversight Office. If a certificate applicant’s proposed fares and rates are determined to be excessive the Director of Towing may adjust their rate sheet as required. Members of the public will be able to search for all approved rate sheets through an online portal to ensure they are being invoiced provincially-approved rates and fares. Staff note that this contrasts with the City of Ottawa’s current method of prescribing fares and rates.

The Director of Towing is also authorized to publish a cap on rates province-wide. Representatives from the Ministry of Transportation have indicated that they will not be publishing a rate cap immediately at implementation of the TSSEA. After the TSSEA has been in force for some time and at the conclusion of the tow zone pilot program in the GTA, the Towing and Vehicle Storage Oversight Office will reevaluate publishing a rate cap.


Staff in By-law and Regulatory Services have been discussing towing-related enforcement issues with members of Ottawa Police Service as well as the Ministry of Transportation. Going forward, based on consultations with provincial staff, it is expected that the TSSEA will be enforced solely by provincially appointed inspectors and police services.

Amendments to City’s Authority to Regulate:

On June 8, 2023, the Province of Ontario passed the Less Red Tape, Stronger Economy Act, 2023 (Bill 91) to amend several acts, including the Municipal Act, 2001.These legislative amendments will remove the ability for municipalities to license tow truck operators, tow truck drivers, and storage providers as of January 1, 2024 and to prescribe rates and fares for this sector.

Given these amendments, the provincial regime under TSSEA will supersede the City’s licensing regime for the tow sector on January 1, 2024.  It is expected that staff in By-law and Regulatory Services will prepare to cease administration and enforcement activities of Schedule 35 of the Licensing By-law at this time, with administration of provincial certifications and the legislation falling to the Director of Towing and enforcement falling to provincial inspectors appointed under TSSEA and of Ottawa Police Service, as noted above. It is also expected that at that time, the Towing and Vehicle Storage Oversight Office will have issued certificates to eligible tow and storage operators and an online complaints portal for the public will have been established.

Next Steps:

City staff are continuing to work with provincial counterparts towards a smooth transition in January 2024 to provincial regulation of the towing sector.  Staff from Emergency and Protective Services will communicate with licensed tow service operators, tow truck drivers and storage facility operators to keep them informed of the transition to provincial regulations, and will provide information for the public on concerning the provincial complaints portal and other relevant information for consumers. 

Staff will prepare a report to Committee and Council in Q1 2024 to: report out on the transition to the Provincial regime and related processes; recommend the appropriate repeal and/or amendments of the current Licensing By-law in light of the full implementation of the provincial regulatory regime; and inform members of Council of any ongoing transition issues to be addressed, as the case may be.

If you have any questions related to this memo please contact Valérie Bietlot - Manager, Public Policy Development Services branch, or Joshua Davis - By-law Review Specialist, Public Policy Development Services branch.


Kim Ayotte

General Manager

Emergency and Protective Services


Roger Chapman, Director, By-law and Regulatory Services

Valérie Bietlot - Manager, Public Policy Development Services

Chief Eric Stubbs, Ottawa Police Service

Memo: Inventory of Generators in High-Rise Apartment Buildings (October 18, 2023)

Date: October 18, 2023

To: Members of the Emergency Preparedness and Protective Services Committee

From: Paul Hutt, Fire Chief, Ottawa Fire Services 

The purpose of this memo is to provide a response to a motion from the Emergency Preparedness & Protective Services Committee meeting of May 18, 2023, relating to an inventory of generators in high-rise apartment buildings (ACS2023-OCC-CCS-0064). The Motion directed staff to develop and provide Committee with a scoping document to create an inventory of residential buildings six-floors or taller in Ottawa without generators, including any associated costs. The motion further directed that Councillors be surveyed in the development of the inventory.

Ottawa Fire Services recognizes that prolonged power outages are becoming more frequent and require significant response in order to support residents. During a power outage, most high-rise residential buildings do not have electricity, heating or cooling systems, or water. Building elevators may also be out of service requiring residents of the building to use stairs.

Residents, of these high-rise buildings, may be people with mobility issues, elderly, and parents with young children that require assistance.


Ottawa Fire Services will develop an inventory list of high-rise residential building stock in the City of Ottawa that are 6 floors or more and identify the buildings that currently have backup power generators. The inventory will inform emergency services, including Ottawa Fire Services, Ottawa Paramedic Service and the Office of Emergency Management, which residential buildings have backup power generators, and which do not. This information will inform a risk assessment of high-rise developments during prolonged power outages.

Emergency power is provided to meet minimum fire life safety requirements, which specify two hours of power supply to facilitate occupant evacuation and firefighter access. Of greater concern are the sustained area-wide power outages, emergency power is not designed to keep residents in their buildings with any degree of comfort, even if there is no problem with the building. However, backup power is provided to meet non-life safety requirements that are considered essential for occupant well-being (e.g. pressurized water supply, heating, elevators), such that occupants are able to remain safely in the building and with a minimal degree of comfort for up to 72 hours.

Next Steps

Ottawa Fire Services will gather the required information and data about existing buildings, with an expected completion date in Q2/Q3 2024. A summary of the deliverables that will be completed in order to produce a fulsome and accurate inventory are detailed in Table 1.

Table 1 - High-rise generator inventory deliverables
Deliverable Description
Ottawa Fire Services data sources Ottawa Fire Services to gather existing data on vulnerable occupancies in multi-residential high-rise apartment buildings. The Fire Prevention division gathers and maintains information on vulnerable occupancies. This information will be cross referenced with other data sources.  
Building Code Services data sources Ottawa Fire Services to contact Building Code Services for information about multi-residential high-rise apartment buildings that are 6 floors or higher.
MPAC data sources Ottawa Fire Services to contact the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) for information about local multi-residential high-rise properties that are 6 stories or higher. The request will include information about the property, property owner, and provided contact information for follow-up.
Outreach to Ottawa BOMA Ottawa Fire Services to contact Building Owners and Managers Association of Ottawa (BOMA). Request for assistance in gathering information from Ottawa area multi-residential properties over 6 stories. Staff will work with the association to share information and collect feedback.
Outreach to business improvement areas Ottawa Fire Services to contact the Business Improvement Areas (BIAs). BIAs provide an important link between the City of Ottawa and local businesses including property owners and managers within the BIA boundary. They have local knowledge and provide valuable communication tools for outreach into the community.
Survey Councillors Ottawa Fire Services will provide a draft inventory list of buildings in each Councillors Ward based on the data sources available.
Survey of building owners and managers Ottawa Fire Services to conduct a survey of the building owners and managers to gather information about backup power generation in multi-residential high-rise buildings.

A summary of the results of the survey of buildings will provide valuable information about backup power availability in multi-residential buildings. This baseline information will provide emergency first responders with information to help assess some of the greatest needs during power outages. The resulting inventory of multi-residential buildings will also complement the current work of Ottawa Fire Services on vulnerable occupancies and will be applicable in instances where Ottawa Fire Services is required to accommodate the safe evacuation of occupants and assist firefighter operations. In addition, it is an opportunity for emergency services to connect with building owners and managers about the need for emergency preparedness and educate the community on the importance of having personal emergency plans.


The provision of information for this inventory is voluntary. The additional efforts to share and collect information are intended to assist the effective and efficient delivery of the surveys and collection of information. The information being collected by Ottawa Fire Services for the inventory will pertain to multi-unit residential properties and will not include any personal information as defined under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA).

There are no budget implications identified in the development of the inventory. Ottawa Fire Services will absorb the costs of gathering this information within the current operational budget. If it is determined that there are additional costs that cannot be absorbed in the existing operating budget OFS will report to committee on the required costs and request funding for a one-time operating expenditure.


Paul Hutt

Fire Chief / Directeur du Service des incendies


Wendy Stephanson, City Manager 

Emergency and Protective Services Departmental Leadership Team

Don Herweyer, General Manager, Planning, Real Estate and Economic Development

John Buck, Chief Building Official

Caitlin Salter-McDonald, Manager, Council and Committee Services 

Andrea Lanthier-Seymour, Director, Public Information and Media Relations 

Memo: Update on Funding for Paramedic Offload Full-Time Equivalents (November 16, 2023)

To: Mayors and Members of Council

From: Kim Ayotte, General Manager, Emergency and Protective Services

The purpose of this memorandum is to inform Council on the work staff has undertaken to advocate for provincial funding of 17 paramedics to help mitigate offload delay pressures and to provide a status update as directed by Council in advance of consideration of the 2024 Draft Budget.


On June 28, 2023, Council approved the Ottawa Paramedic Service 2024 - 2026 Investment Plan (ACS2023-EPS-OPS-0002). As recommended in this report, Council approved that the addition of 23 permanent full-time equivalents (FTEs) paramedics be considered in the 2024, 2025 and 2026 Draft Budgets to address growth pressures, as well as the addition of three (3) FTEs in the 2024 Draft Budget to support employee wellness and reduce operational stress injuries. Further, a motion was passed to expedite the hiring of 14 of these paramedic FTEs as soon as feasible with the remaining balance of 12 paramedic FTEs to be considered as part of the 2024 Draft Budget.

The report also recommended the City to seek provincial funding for an additional 17 paramedic FTEs in the 2024, 2025 and 2026 Draft Budgets to help mitigate offload delay pressures and reduce the number of level zero events. Council directed staff to report back as part of the 2024 budget process on the confirmation of provincial and/or local area hospital funding for the additional 17 FTEs.

The resolution in staff’s report also called on Mayor Sutcliffe and Chair Brockington, on behalf of Council, to continue to advocate with the Premier of Ontario, the Minister of Health, and the hospital CEOs to outline local impacts and implement solutions to reduce offload delay and the number of level zero events.

As Council is aware, the issues that contribute to offload delay reside with hospitals and are outside of the control of the Ottawa Paramedic Service. However, the City has a legislated responsibility to deliver emergency medical care to the community, within the response time performance plan targets prescribed by the Ontario Ministry of Health and approved by Council. The Ottawa Paramedic Service reports on the response time performance as part of their annual report and submits the same information to the province. Therefore, staff are committed to continuing to work with the Ministry of Health and hospital partners to find solutions that ensure residents are receiving the best possible care.

Funding Request Update

The Ministry of Health funds 50 per cent of land ambulance operations, 100 per cent of the Communications Centre, as well as 100 per cent of the Dedicated Offload Nursing Program, which dedicates a nursing resource to each hospital emergency department to reduce paramedic offload delay. The Ottawa Paramedic Service and the Ottawa Hospital have been advocating for the province to increase Dedicated Offload Nursing Program (DONP) funding to help reduce offload delay. In 2023, the province increased DONP funding from $1.5M to $2.5M.  Unfortunately, hospitals have had difficulty staffing the DONP and often, there is no dedicated offload nurse available.

Since June, the Paramedic Chief, staff in Emergency and Protective Services department and the Mayor’s Office have been meeting monthly with the Ontario Minister of Health’s Chief of Staff and The Ottawa Hospital CEO to identify solutions to reduce offload delay and level zero events. Resolving the offload delay issue in emergency departments is critical to eliminating level zero events and improving service delivery, response times and patient outcomes.

This summer, the Ottawa Hospital submitted a request to the Ministry of Health for an additional $4.5 million to hire more nurses and add more beds to the offload nurse program. This funding would cover the costs to staff 12 new beds at the Civic Hospital, 12 at the General Hospital, eight at the Queensway Carleton Hospital and four at l’Hôpital Montfort. The Ottawa Hospital asserts that the additional $4.5M will reduce offload delay and make redundant the Ottawa Paramedic Service request for an additional 17 FTEs. The Ottawa Hospital has not yet received confirmation of Provincial funding for this initiative.

Further, the Ministry of Health continues to expand patient care models, giving paramedics the flexibility to treat patients and have them stay at home, take them to a more appropriate care centre, or treat and refer them to another care provider. However, despite these initiatives and increased DONP funding, the Ottawa Paramedic Service continues to experience significant offload delay at local hospitals, increased level zero events and eroding response times.

Currently, the year to date (YTD) 90th percentile offload time for the four local hospitals exceeds two hours forty minutes. Comparatively, the 2022 YTD was slightly lower at two hours thirty-seven minutes. Unfortunately, offload delay time at hospital continue to persist despite the increased investments.

Draft Budget 2024

The 50/50 shared funding model between the City of Ottawa and Province is predicated on a  healthcare system that does not require the municipality to fund care within the hospital. As detailed in the Ottawa Paramedic Service 2024 - 2026 Investment Plan, offload delay requires hospital and provincial intervention, and 100 per cent provincial funding is required for the 17 FTEs proposed by the Ottawa Paramedic Service in this budget cycle (or the resolution of offload delay).

Given that the province has received, but has not yet confirmed, the Ottawa Hospital’s funding request the Draft Budget 2024 does not include the offload delay pressures (an estimated operating budget requirement of $2,080,000, and the purchase of one emergency response vehicle with an estimated capital budget requirement of $165,000 and operating budget of $56,000).

Staff and the Mayor will continue to engage with the province and hospital partners to request that funding is available to address the persistent hospital offload delay issue. The city will continue to discuss all options including 100 per cent funding for 17 FTEs in each remaining year of this Term of Council to address offload delay and reduce the burden on Ottawa taxpayers. Staff will report back in future budget cycles if provincial funding can be secured for FTEs to address offload delay in 2025 or 2026 and will also report back on service delivery impacts and overall performance as part of its annual report. Staff will also continue to advocate with the Premier of Ontario, Minister of Health and local hospital leadership to find solutions for mitigating the impact of hospital offload delay.


Kim Ayotte

General Manager

Emergency and Protective Services

c.c.: Pierre Poirier, Chief, Ottawa Paramedic Service