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Connecting Ottawa Communique

Connecting Ottawa Communique
November 21, 2023

We are pleased to provide this information for front-line workers to support the information and referral needs of clients. Connecting Ottawa education sessions that may be of interest to workers are listed first followed by information and updates from our lawyers and partners related to services and programs relevant to clients who have a communication barrier due to language or sensory disability. Please feel free to share this email widely among your networks.

Upcoming Connecting Ottawa education sessions:

** Today ** Information Session:  How to properly terminate a tenancy   ** Today **
(in conjunction with Reach Canada as part of the Housing Education Series)
Date:  Tuesday, November 21, 2023
Time:  11:00 a.m. – noon
Speaker:  Melissa Bramson, Community Legal Services of Ottawa
Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 813 6252 2417
Passcode: 798407
Clients are not always aware of the appropriate process to terminate a tenancy and the consequences of improperly terminating a tenancy.  This session will provide helpful insight into how to support clients wishing to end their tenancy.

Violence familiale: préparez-vous pour une intervention ciblée
(Soutenu par : Ottawa Housing Education Group)
Date: jeudi 30 novembre 2023
Heure: 9h à 12h45
Lieu: Centre de services communautaires de Vanier, 270 Avenue Marier
Panélistes: Me Natalie Bouchard, de l’AJEFO, Me Alexandra Hachey, du Centre (AJEFO), Me Éric Cabana, du CSC Vanier, Mme Anne Smith, de Action Logement
Les inscriptions fermeront le mercredi 29 novembre à 17h:
L’objectif de cet atelier est de vous fournir des informations essentielles sur la violence familiale (reconnaître et réagir), ainsi que sur la manière d’apporter un soutien aux victimes concernant les enjeux relatifs au droit du logement et au droit de la famille. Les connaissances seront acquises grâce à des présentations d’informations juridiques et à des discussions entre collègues.

Legal information and updates:

Update on Temporary and Permanent Residence Options for Ukrainians
On November 16, 2023, Heather Neufeld and Jacqueling Bonisteel presented a comprehensive webinar on the CLEO Connect platform on temporary and permanent residence options for Ukrainians.  The webinar and a copy of the slides can be viewed or downloaded at:

Connecting Ottawa referrals
Just a friendly reminder that Connecting Ottawa’s mandate is to work with front-line social service and agency workers to support them in helping clients identify and address legal issues.  Please do not refer clients directly to Connecting Ottawa as we are unable to support them independently.  If you are a social service or agency worker, please request support through completing our online intake sheet at:

New Infosheet on Tips for preparing a spousal sponsorship in the IRCC portal
In conjunction with the workshop held on October 24, Heather Neufeld and Dana ElChammaa have prepared a tipsheet on preparing a spousal sponsorship in the iRCC online permanent residence portal.  The tipsheet is available for download at:

Refugee613 Multilingual winter driving infographics
Refugee 613 has created two infographics to help newcomers drive safely this winter.  Part 1 explains how to prepare your vehicle for winter and part 2 covers tips for driving in winter weather conditions.  Both infographics are available in: English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Dari, Pashto, Hindi and Ukrainian.  You can find them on the Newcomer Multilingual Info Bank or at

A resource for adult survivors on intimate images and the law
The Journey Project has created general legal information and answers to some common questions about the law related to the distribution of intimate images. The information is intended for people 18 years of age and older: Intimate Images and the Law: A Resource for Adult Survivors – The Journey Project.

United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities
December 3, 2023 is UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The UN theme for 2023 is “United in action to rescue and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) for, with and by persons with disabilities”.  The City of Ottawa will be holding a special zoom event to formally proclaim the day and to speak to the work that is being undertaken in Ottawa on the issue of bias awareness.:
Date: November 30, 2023
Time: 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

New deadlines to send documents for Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS) appeals
Appellants now have 8 months to send their documents for CPP disability appeals to the General Division. For other CPP and OAS appeals, appellants now have 3 months. However, an appellant can ask for more time to submit documents if they need it. We encourage you to review the updated appeal process infographics for more information and to share with your clients:

CLEO Connect Webinar: Creating better legal information – November 29
Date:  Wednesday, November 29
Time:  12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m.
Speaker: Nicole Osborne James, CLEO Connect
Register at:
This webinar will review what makes printed material or online information clear, accurate, and practical. CLEO editor Nicole Osbourne James will show you how to: tell readers who the information is for or how it can be used, make the layout and design clean and easy to use and, write so the reader can understand it easily

ABLE2/Reach Canada Webinar: Special Needs and Disability Estate Planning – November 29 OR 30

Date/Time:  Wednesday, November 29 at 7:00 p.m. OR Thursday, November 30th at 12:00 noon
Speaker: Kenneth Pope, LLB, TEP, Disability & estate planning specialist Kenneth Pope
Register at: November 29:
Register at: November 30:
This session will cover: ODSP and how it can affect estate planning, How all families with adult children with special needs can benefit from the improved caregiver tax credit, Disability Tax Credit recapturing, RDSPs, Lifetime Benefit Trusts for RRIFs, Guardianships vs. Power of Attorney, and wills and Henson Trusts.

New Canada Disability Benefit — Feedback requested
The federal government has announced the launch of its Canada Disability Benefit (CDB) Regulations Online Engagement Tool – a platform to collect feedback to help inform the design of regulations for the new CDB. Feedback may be provided directly online or through various other communication methods, and may address any of the following topic areas: eligibility, benefit amount, applications and payments,  administration, reconsiderations and appeals, compliance and enforcement, best practices or tools and general comments.  To share your vision for the new CDB, visit:

OCDSB is Seeking Indigenous Community Members to Serve on the Indigenous Education Council (IEC)
The OCDSB Indigenous Education Council (IEC) is looking for expressions of interest from Indigenous members of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities to sit on the IEC. For more details and application information, please visit:

OCDSB High School Information Sessions

OCDSB schools are hosting high school information sessions starting in December till February to help families prepare their child for High School, learn how to register, and more. Visit for the schedule and links to helpful tips and resources.

Reminder:2023 Conference Resources
The Connecting Ottawa 2023 Conference “Immigration Hot Topics” was held on October 24 at the University of Ottawa.  Copies of the presentations/resources shared at the event are below for those who were unable to attend:

Reminder: New LTB Video Guides
Tribunals Ontario is creating a series of videos to help parties better understand what to expect when they attend a Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) hearing through Zoom. The videos, which will be posted on the Videoconferencing webpage in November, include information on the LTB hearing sign-in process, the role of Tenant Duty Counsel, mediation, and what to expect in the hearing room.

Reminder: Connecting Ottawa is hiring a project manager
Connecting Ottawa’s project manager, Gina Grosenick will be retiring at the end of this year. Connecting Ottawa is looking for an experienced project manager to take on the management and administration of this amazing and rewarding project.  Please share the job posting with anyone in your network that you think might be interested.  Last day for applications is November 24, 2023.  More information available at:

In case you missed it … (we think the following information bears repeating)

Updated Connecting Ottawa information sheets

The following resources have been produced by Connecting Ottawa lawyers to provide front line workers and community members with information and referral resources for common legal issues.  Please feel free to share with your clients and networks.

New online referral form for Clinique juridique francophone d’Ottawa
Clinique juridique francophone d’Ottawa has set up a new online form for clients, partners, community advocates or workers to request services from the clinic. From now on, your clients (or you on behalf of your clients), can fill out the online form at or by clicking the button “J’ai besoin de parler à un.e avocat.e” on their website:  The clinic telephone line (613-744-2892, ext. 2) remains in case clients are not able to or don’t have access to the internet.

Fraud alert and examples of extortion messages
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre continues to see reports of extortion emails claiming to be from law enforcement agencies, including the RCMP. The message accuses a person of serious criminal charges and asks that they respond to a fake law enforcement email address. When contacted, they will ask for a payment to avoid going to jail. Law enforcement will never demand payment and will not threaten arrest by email or phone. If in doubt, contact the law enforcement agency directly. Here are some examples of extortion scams: Extortion (

Going from ACSD to ODSP
Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities (ACSD) benefits stop at age 18. If your client is a young adult with a disability, or a caregiver, it is important to know that young adults getting ACSD must apply for ODSP benefits because the benefits do not switch automatically. A young adult can start their ODSP application at 17.5 years of age and ODSP benefits can start when they turn 18. ODSP benefits do not take into account a parent or caregiver’s income. If eligible, ODSP benefits will be paid to the young adult directly.

Claim period for Canadian Oxycontin Class Actions currently open
Several Canadian class actions relating to the prescription drugs OxyContin and OxyNeo have been settled. The settlement compensates eligible class members for various injuries they suffered due to addictions they developed from using these prescription Oxy drugs. Anyone who was prescribed and ingested OxyContin and/or OxyNeo in Canada between January 1, 1996 and February 28, 2017 is eligible to claim under the settlement. Estates of deceased Canadian Oxy users are also eligible to file claims, as are spouses, children, and certain other family members. Class members have until February 27, 2024 to file a claim. For more information visit www.oxycontin class action or contact the claims administrator at 1-888-663-7185 or

HIV Testing and Self Testing
Shared by our friends at HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario (HALCO):  In the past, HIV testing was only accessible through a health care provider or a designated testing site. Recently, some people have been able to get HIV self-testing kits that allow them to test on their own or with the help of others such as community organizations. If an individual tests positive for HIV using a self-testing kit, they will have to get a nominal or anonymous confirmatory test before getting medical care for HIV. For more information about self-testing, see HALCO’s information sheet at: For information about nominal and anonymous HIV testing and details about what gets reported to Public Health authorities when people test positive for HIV, see: The guide also provides information about reducing the possibility of a person’s name being reported to Public Health authorities after testing positive anonymously and accessing HIV-related medical care.

Ticket Defense Program
The Ticket Defence Program (TDP) is a mobile legal clinic seeking to improve access to justice for street-involved and homeless individuals in Ottawa by providing free bilingual legal services and representation for poverty-related offences.  The program will be offering a number of walk in clinics in November as per the following schedule:  For more information on the program, visit:

Rent guideline increase for 2024 is 2.5%
The rent increase guideline applies to a majority of rental households covered by the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006. It does not apply to rental units occupied for the first time after November 15, 2018, vacant residential units, community housing, long-term care homes, or commercial properties. It is important to remind your clients that rent increases are not automatic or mandatory. Landlords may only raise rent by this amount if they give tenants 90 days’ written notice using the correct form and at least 12 months have passed since the first day of the tenancy or the last rent increase. We encourage you to visit CLEO’s On the Radar for more information:

2024 Employment Insurance (EI) premium rate
The EI premium rate for 2024 will be $1.66 per $100 of insurable earnings – an increase of 3 cents from the current rate and 22 cents lower than it was between 2013 and 2016 ($1.88). For more information, read here: Statement by Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages Randy Boissonnault regarding the 2024 EI premium rate –

Family Justice Centre
Pro Bono Students Canada’s Family Justice Centre (FJC) aims to bridge the family justice gap in Ontario by providing free family law services to self-represented litigants who do not qualify for legal aid but cannot afford a lawyer. Operating virtually and offering a diverse array of unbundled services, including summary legal advice, legal coaching, court form drafting, and targeted referrals, the FJC strives to provide impactful assistance to self-represented litigants when and where they need it. For more information and intake schedules, visit:

Connect with us …
Connecting Ottawa is available to support front-line workers in Ottawa to provide appropriate legal information and referrals to clients with  communication barriers as a result of language or sensory disability. If you have a question or require a consultation, please send it to info@connectingottawa.comalong with an Intake Form:  This will ensure the most efficient response to your request.  As a reminder, we do not provide direct legal services to individuals.