Hydro Ottawa Dramatically Rebuilds Trust Through Education & Outreach

In May 2022, Ottawa experienced a line of intense and widespread storms that produced hurricane-force winds, heavy rain and flash flooding. In the span of 15 minutes, winds of up to 118 miles per hour toppled transmission towers, damaged more than 500 poles, and downed miles of power lines. There were more than 1,000 simultaneous power outages across a service territory that is approximately the size of Texas, leaving 180,000 customers in the dark. Hydro Ottawa’s Rebuilding Trust Campaign offered education around the damage assessment and restoration process, as well as what channels to go to for real-time updates. The utility positioned itself as a trusted authority and key player in emergency preparedness and partnered with community associations to reach its customer base. This effort won Chartwell’s Silver Best Practices Award in Outage Communications.


Josée Larocque, Manager, Media and Public Affairs, Hydro Ottawa

Josée has over twelve years of experience in public affairs, including leading the development and execution of stakeholder engagement and communications strategies, as well as providing strategic advice to senior leadership teams, colleagues and clients from various industries, levels of government.

Prior to joining Hydro Ottawa, Josée held various roles supporting the energy sector, including being a senior consultant within the energy and natural resources division at the government relations and communications firm Global Public Affairs. She also spent several years working as a communications specialist for FortisBC Energy Inc., a utility company based in British Columbia.

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