Running a daycare with no power for 27 days is taking a toll on Jacqueline Orellana.
“If I don’t get it resolved this week, I’m going to close the daycare next week,” says Orellana.
The May 21 storm that hit Ottawa caused a power line to detach from her rental. Since the damage is on private property, it is the landlord’s responsibility to fix the $4,000 repair. She says she hasn’t been able to reach him.
“We have been texting him,” says Orellana. “We’re trying to communicate with him. We call him, we text him, we mail him.”
Hot water is also an issue.
“The hot water broke,” says Orellana. “Again we called the landlord to tell him, he didn’t reply. So from our own pocket we spent $2,200 to buy the tank.”
Even after Orellana paid for the tank, it could not be hooked up because the previous tank was installed incorrectly. They haven’t had hot water now for four months.
CTV News Ottawa tried contacting the landlord, whose mail has been piling up at his house. He did not respond to our request.
“I think it’s appalling,” says neighbour Marian O’Connor. “I mean we had a terrible storm. We felt hard done by, we had no power for nine days. And then when I heard about Jacqueline’s family I was like, that’s unbelievable.”
Neighbours have been doing everything they can to help. Doing her laundry, bringing her hot meals, even running an extension cord over the fence to give her a bit of electricity.
Christine Tambeau’s son attends Orellana’s daycare. She says even without hydro she is still able to keep the kids happy all day, but she shouldn’t have to wait so long for repairs.
“And to say that we have to way another 28 days because they’re just not responding, it’s just not good enough,” says Tambeau. “It’s not the right thing to do.”
The councillor for the area, Jean Cloutier, says he is now doing everything he can to fast track the repairs and will add the cost to the landlords property tax bill if he has to.
“If it could be done within a week, that would be great,” says Cloutier. “I do not want these tenants, these residents to wait 21 days or 28 days to get this situation resolved just because that’s what’s in the laws.”
As for Orellana, she hopes something happens soon so she can keep her business open for her, and the children.
“The hard part for me is when everybody’s gone. I don’t have the kids, I have my own. And the day is finished and it’s becoming dark. And we don’t have power in the house, we don’t have lights.”
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