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Hidden camera found in Gatineau school washroom and construction season begins in Ottawa: Top 5 stories this week

Ottawa Construction

A hidden camera is found in a Gatineau, Que. elementary school, the federal government is looking to dispose of half of its office buildings and a record setting Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. looks at the top five stories on our website this week.

Man arrested after hidden camera found in washroom at Gatineau, Que. elementary school

Gatineau police say an 18-year-old former student has been arrested after a hidden camera was discovered in the girls' washroom at an elementary school.

Police received a call from staff at l’école l'Oiseau Bleu on Nelligan Street just after 10 a.m. Thursday about a camera found in the ceiling of the washroom, police said in a statement.

"Somebody who went into the washroom noticed a hole in the ceiling and they notified the authorities on scene," Const. Patrick Kenney said.

"That’s where they noticed there was a camera above the removable (tile in the) ceiling. Immediately they called the police and that is when the object was seized."

Kenney says investigators examined the camera and were, "able to identify and locate the subject responsible for the camera."

Police say there is no indication that any images that may have been recorded by the camera were viewed or shared.

A suspect was arrested Thursday evening.

"The suspect lives in the area of ​​l’école l'Oiseau Bleuand and is said to be a former student who attended the establishment," police said in a statement Friday morning, adding the suspect is not an employee at the school.

Charges of voyeurism, breaking and entering and attempted production of child pornography have been filed with the Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales, according to police.

l’école l'Oiseau Bleu is located on Nelligan Street in Gatineau, Que. (Google Maps)

Federal government aiming to dispose of half of its office buildings with hybrid work here to stay

The federal government is looking to dispose of half of its office buildings in Ottawa and across the country, citing the rise in remote and hybrid work.

"We see an opportunity for a fairly significant reduction in the coming years of the office space," Paul Thompson, Deputy Minister of Public Services and Procurement, told a committee on Monday.

"Our previous target was to reduce the portfolio by 40 per cent. We now think we can reduce it closer to 50 per cent as a target."

Thompson said the government has been looking at reducing its office footprint since before the COVID-19 pandemic, and the hybrid work model has reinforced those plans.

In May, the government announced plans to dispose of 10 buildings in the national capital region, including the L'Esplanade Laurier,  the Brooke Claxton Building near Tunney's Pasture and the 1500 Bronson Building and Annex, the former CBC building.

The government says its shift to a hybrid work model will allow it to relocate employees in the buildings into modern accommodations.

A federal government building in downtown Ottawa. (Aaron Reid/CTV News Ottawa)

Downtown road project headlines 2023 construction season in Ottawa

Construction season kicked off in Ottawa this week, with plans to spend $800 million on road and infrastructure projects in 2023.

"These investments in our infrastructure come at a crucial time, supporting Ottawa’s rapid growth. Thank you to the residents for their continued patience and support during the bustling construction season that lies ahead," Mayor Mark Sutcliffe said.

Of the $800 million set to be spent on construction this year, $136 million will go toward road rehabilitation. A $245.9 million price tag is set for integrated road-water-sewer reconstruction projects, $47 million of which will be spent on the reconstruction of Albert, Queen, and Slater streets and Bronson Avenue. 

According to the city of Ottawa's website, other projects planned this summer include road resurfacing along Hunt Club Road, Moodie Drive between Carling Avenue and Corkstown Road, Carling Avenue from March Road to Shirley's Bay Complex, and sections of Catherine Street, Gladstone Avenue, Island Park Drive and Preston Street.

Major Construction Projects in Ottawa in 2023.

Hottest June 2 in Ottawa history

It was the hottest start to June in Ottawa history, with two straight days of record-breaking warm temperatures.

The temperature hit 35.1 C on Thursday, the hottest temperature recorded on June 1. Friday's high of 32.2 C set a record for the hottest June 2.

The two-day heat event had people looking for ways to keep cool, visiting parks, splash pads and beaches across Ottawa.

Residents turning up the air conditioners to keep cool on Thursday likely caused hydro systems to overload, knocking out power to customers in the west end, according to Hydro Ottawa.

Approximately 8,500 customers in Kanata South, Kanata North, Stittsville and West Carleton-March lost power for several hours, as the temperature sat at 32 C.

In a statement to CTV News Ottawa on Friday, Hydro Ottawa says strain on the system can cause power outages.

"While Hydro Ottawa’s distribution system is built with sufficient capacity to accommodate summer peak loads, sometimes strain on the system can happen as a result of a sudden increased demand, resulting in outages," the utility said. "While this weather makes our system work harder, we are not experiencing any problems related to the peak demand."

Kids cool off at a local splash pad in Ottawa on July 7, 2021, when the humidex hit a high of 40. (Dave Charbonneau / CTV News Ottawa)

96-year-old sets new world record in Ottawa Race Weekend 5K

Rejeanne Fairhead ran her way into the Guinness World Records on the opening day of Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend.

The 96-year-old Ottawa woman ran the 5K race in 51:09.1, setting the world record for women 95+ for five kilometres.

"With an official Sportstats time of 51:09.1. Rejeanne is now the WORLD record holder women’s 95+ 5k. Congratulations!" Ottawa Race Weekend said on Twitter.

Fairhead beat the world record held by American Betty Lindberg by more than four minutes.

Fairhead also raised money for Perley Health in Ottawa, a long-term care facility home to more than 600 seniors and veterans.

Rejeanne Fairhead of Ottawa crosses the finish line at the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend after setting a new world record for women 95+ for five kilometres. (Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend/Twitter) Top Stories

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