Record Inclusion / Exclusion Policy

Database Information Collection and Maintenance Policy

Criteria for creating and maintaining a record in the Community Information Centre of Ottawa Database

The Community Information Centre of Ottawa (CICO) offers a comprehensive information and referral service (I&R) to the general public. The geographical area served shall be the counties of Lennox and Addington, Frontenac, Lanark, Leeds and Grenville, Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, Prescott and Russell and the City of Ottawa.

Subject to the priorities detailed in the next section, the 211 Ottawa/Eastern Ontario database includes organizations or programs that:

  • Provide a direct service to the public i.e. in person, by telephone or the Internet (including email or online forums, etc.);
  • Are networks or coalitions of direct service providers;
  • Are involved in licensing, planning or coordinating direct services;
  • Are not-for-profit, community-based or government organizations;
  • Are community development or social enterprise initiatives;
  • Are organizations located outside of the province which provide a service in Ontario;
  • Or are commercial organizations that provide first or second priority services and that fill a local gap in the non-profit sector.

Organizations should demonstrate the ability to provide ongoing reliable services, and have an established funding base or the support of an established parent organization. Exceptions may be made in emerging or underfunded service areas.
The following three priorities guide our decisions:

First Priority

Basic subsistence and survival-related services, including:

  • Food, clothing and shelter
  • Emergency assistance
  • Crisis intervention
  • Financial assistance
  • Legal and correctional services
  • Victim services
  • Immigrant and refugee services
  • Physical and mental health services
  • Employment and training services
  • Home support services
  • Public and specialized transportation
  • Child care
  • Access to permanent affordable housing

Services for people who may experience barriers to service because of:

  • Language spoken
  • Ethno-cultural group
  • Age including risk factors associated with infants, children, youth or seniors
  • Low income, unemployment or lack of education or literacy
  • Physical, mental or developmental disabilities
  • Homelessness or social isolation
  • Immigration or refugee status
  • Fear of violence

Second Priority

Quality of life services, unless they are for people who may experience barriers to service:

  • Alternative health/medicine
  • Education, school boards
  • Recreation, sports groups, community centres, meeting places
  • Arts, culture, heritage
  • Consumer assistance
  • Environment
  • International development
  • Hobby and special interest groups (i.e. clubs, faith or political organizations)
  • Networks and forums (including online support groups)
  • Animal protective services
  • Volunteer opportunities

Third Priority

Services that enable community engagement, social research and planning, mobilization of resources and leadership and governance. These services would include, but are not limited, to:

  • Community initiatives
  • Committees, task forces, coalitions
  • Peace and disarmament
  • Umbrella groups


The Community Information Centre of Ottawa (CICO) reserves the right to exclude from its database any organization that it has adequate reason to believe may spread hatred or have a philosophy that could be hurtful to the well-being of individuals, groups or the community as a whole.

Potential grounds for exclusion or removal from the database may include, but is not limited to: service non-delivery, fraud, misrepresentation, discrimination, criminal activities, or operating outside licensing mandates.

CICO also reserves the right to refuse to list or to discontinue listings for organizations that have had serious complaints lodged against them with any regulatory body, with other organizations included in our database providing similar services, or with one of our staff members.

Decisions to include, exclude, or remove a service listing may be appealed by writing to the Executive Director after a reasonable attempt has been made to resolve the issue with the editorial staff.