Use caution with communications claiming to be from CRA

Before getting into some community announcements, I just wanted to bring forward a concern completely unrelated to my job but very much relevant this time of year.  This past weekend, I received an email stating that my tax return was ready and I just needed to enter my Social Insurance Number to get by refund.  Although the website looked exactly like the website for Canada Revenue Agency, it was a fraud.  Therefore, beware of these fraudulent emails.  The CRA does not send email transfers, only direct deposit.  The following information has been taken from CRA’s website:

Occasionally, taxpayers may receive, either by telephone, mail, or email, a communication that claims to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) but is NOT. In all these cases, the communication requests personal information, such as a social insurance, credit card, bank account, and passport numbers, from the taxpayer. These fraudulent communications are also referred to as scams or phishing.

Invariably, the communication argues that this personal information is needed so that the taxpayer can receive a refund or benefit payment. Another common scam refers the person to a Web site resembling the CRA’s Web site where the person is asked to verify their identity by entering personal information. Taxpayers should not respond to such fraudulent communications.

To better equip taxpayers to identify those communications that do not come from the CRA, the following general guidelines are provided.

- The CRA does not do the following:
- The CRA will not request personal information of any kind from a taxpayer by email.
- The CRA will not divulge taxpayer information to another person unless formal authorization is provided by the taxpayer.
- The CRA will not leave any personal information on an answering machine.

You will find examples of a fraudulent letter, emails, and online refund forms on the CRA’s Web site. As per telephone calls, the CRA will occasionally leave messages for taxpayers on their answering machines. In these cases, a callback number will be provided along with a request to have the taxpayer’s SIN available upon callback. However, it is important to note that not all telephone messages purporting to be from the CRA are genuine. Should taxpayers wish to verify the authenticity of a CRA telephone number, they should contact the CRA directly by using the numbers on our Telephone numbers page. For business-related calls, contact 1-800-959-5525 and for individual concerns, contact 1-800-959-8281. Information is available at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/.
— Canada Revenue Agency

Richmond Forcemain Project

As I wrote about in this column in recent months, the City of Ottawa will be making repairs and modifications to the Richmond Forcemain. The work involves repairing the existing 500mm forcemain, the installation of a new 300mm forcemain to facilitate the repairs, and the installation of a new section of 600mm forcemain for the proposed future development within the Village of Richmond.

The original forcemain was built in the early 1980s and is in need of repair. As part of the repair process, staff have conducted preliminary investigations in recent months that are necessary to complete the detailed design for the future construction activity.  The forcemain limits are from the Richmond Sewage Pumping Station located at the corner of Royal York Street and Cockburn Street in the Village of Richmond, and travels northeast along the south bank of the Jock River, crossing the river near Eagleson Road and then travels north along the west side of Eagleson Road before discharging to the City’s sewer system near Hazeldean Road in Kanata.

As part of this process, the City is hosting an open house at the Richmond Arena on Tuesday, March 21st between 7:00pm and 9:00pm.  Notifications are being sent out to those closest to the forcemain, south of the Jock River.

North Gower Farmers’ Market

The North Gower Farmers' Market Easter Market is back! On Saturday, April 4th from 9:00am until 2:00pm, at the Alfred Taylor Recreation Centre (2300 Community Way), come visit the over 30 local vendors that will have everything for all of your Easter needs.  The annual Easter Market features local meats, homemade foods, all kinds of baking and there is even a wine vendor this year.  As always, the market has many local artisans with handcrafted creations as well.

Breakfast and lunch is available. Once again, there will be a free draw for a gift basket and the NGFM will be accepting both food and cash donations for the North Gower Food Bank.  For more information go to www.ngfarmersmarket.com

Manotick Art Association’s “A Brush with Art” Spring Show and Sale

The artists of the Manotick Art Association have been busy for the past few months creating new works of art in preparation for their annual Spring Show.  Over sixty local artists will be displaying original artworks in watercolour, oil, pastel, and acrylic, as well as photography, pottery and glasswork.

The show will open Friday evening, April 17th at 6:30pm with a Vernissage that includes music, wine and tasty appetizers from many of Manotick’s fine eateries, this is always a very popular event; and at just $10:00, tickets will be going quickly.  Get yours from your favourite member, or at Manotick Office Pro, Lindsay & McCaffrey in the Manotick Mews, on line at http://www.manotickart.ca/ or at the door.

Entry to the show is free on Saturday and Sunday,  April 18th and 19th from 10:30am to 4:30pm.  Part of the proceeds from the show will go to help support Miller's Oven and we will be collecting cash donations in support of Manotick Food Cupboard.

The venue for the Spring Show and Sale is the Manotick Curling Centre, 5519 South River Dr., Manotick.  There is plenty of free parking at the Centre and on the surrounding streets.

Kars on the Rideau Public School Annual Community Used Book Sale

The Annual Kars on the Rideau Community Used Book Sale is coming up soon and the organizing team is looking for donations. They are looking for good quality used children and adult books etc. for the sale. If you would like the chance to clear out your home collection to make room for more, please drop off your books at Kars on the Rideau Public School, 6680 Dorack Drive, Kars during school hours (8:30am – 2:30pm).  Donations can be made until April 14th.  If you have questions, please call Megan Dodge at 613-489-0631.

Goulbourn Skating Club’s Spring Session

The Goulbourn Skating Club’s Spring sessions start this week and it’s not too late to register. We have spaces left in our Canskate (learn to-skate) program and Starskate programs (skaters develop their figure skating skills). And, new this Spring, the club is offering Synchronized Skating Skills sessions. These Spring sessions are a great opportunity to give skating a try.

Canskate sessions will be held Saturdays April 4th to April 25th from 10:00am to 10:50am and Tuesdays April 7th to April 28th from 6:00pm to 6:50pm. All the sessions will be held at the Goulbourn Recreation Complex.

For more information, please visit the website goulbournskatingclub.com. Online registration is available. All of the programs offered by the Goulbourn Skating Club are taught by nationally certified Skate Canada instructors. It is not too late to enjoy the programs offered by the club.

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If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491.