Weeks of phone calls vs. 16 minutes: A Dunrobin man’s experience with Enbridge and Doug Ford

UPDATE: Colbran has said that Ford called back Wednesday and that Enbridge would be arriving Thursday morning


The tornado recovery efforts in Dunrobin are proceeding slowly and some homeowners say they’re feeling frustrated.

While some delays are expected, there have been complaints about red tape surrounding demolition permits, especially when it comes to disconnecting utility hook-ups.

The City of Ottawa told CTV News Tuesday that 11 demolition permits are currently stalled because utilities haven’t been disconnected.

“15 permits have been issued or approved and 11 are currently classified as incomplete pending confirmation that all essential utilities have been disconnected or are in compliance with the appropriate service provider, i.e. gas connections,” Chief Building Official Frank Bidin said in a statement. “The processing of tornado related building and demolition permits are a priority to the City. All efforts are made to process complete demolition permit submissions within 48 hours.”

Dunrobin resident Jason Colbran is one of the people waiting for a demolition permit to be approved. He spoke to Newstalk 580 CFRA’s Beyond the News with Brian Lilley Tuesday evening about his home, and his experiences with getting help.

Colbran had moved to Dunrobin five months before the tornado hit on September 21. His new home was destroyed in the storm.

But he says the delay in approving his demolition permit isn’t the City’s fault. He says it’s because of Enbridge.

“The City is waiting on Enbridge; everyone is,” Colbran said. “I have a big machine parked in my garage, waiting to start work, and all the City is telling me is that they need Enbridge to go in and do their job and that’s where we’re standing for the last couple of weeks.”

Colbran said he’s been on the phone with Enbridge, but hasn’t had much luck getting answers.

“I called [Tuesday] and they just filed for someone to go out for locating, which could take another three weeks, they told me,” he said. “They were very vague on the phone. I called them last week and they told me a city project manager should get ahold of me. There was no call, so I called back today and I got the exact same response.”

Colbran said he was getting frustrated and reached out to Premier Doug Ford directly.

“I met him on the streets and he got back to me in 16 minutes,” Colbran said. “He said that he’s going to follow up with the CEO of Enbridge [Wednesday]. I sent the text at 6:44 p.m. and he called me personally at 7:01.”

Ford has been known to hand out his phone number to anyone who asks.

CFRA has reached out to the Premier's office for follow up on this story. CFRA and CTV News have also reached out to Enbridge for comment. We are awaiting a reply.

Colbran said he and his family have been living in Kanata Lakes for the time being, but he plans to rebuild his home in Dunrobin exactly as it was before.

“We’re going to rebuild the exact same home. We want everything just rebuilt the way it was.”