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City of Vancouver 311 calls range from 'Can I have a camel?' to property taxes

Last Updated Jan 8, 2021 at 6:07 pm PDT

(iStock Photo)
Summary

The City of Vancouver's 3-1-1 service takes more than half-a-million calls a year

Some of the quirkier questions asked include whether it's okay to keep a camel, if only for its milk

The most frequently-asked questions are about property taxes

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The City of Vancouver’s helpline takes in more than half-a-million calls a year, and some of them stand out more than others.

Richard Traer, the manager of the city’s 311 contact centre, says they’ve also been asked if residents are allowed to dump one mattress and one piece of furniture in a back alley every year.

“The answer to that is no, actually, any dumping in lanes in 100 per cent illegal, according to the City of Vancouver’s bylaws,” he tells NEWS 1130.

But that wasn’t even the weirdest one.

He says the most interesting call was a request for keeping a camel in the city.

“The reason for keeping the camel was only for its milk,” he says.

The answer is no, but chickens are alright if they’re kept in the backyard.

One person also asked, “Can you remove a dog from my bedroom? A friend left it, but I don’t know who.”

The most frequently asked questions are about property taxes.

“It’s because the complexity of homeowner grants and property taxes and often, it involves people’s estates, so it’s actually a quite complex process that might not always be evident from receiving a piece of paper in the mail,” Traer says.

The helpline is open every day of the year and queries can also be submitted by downloading the city’s VanConnect app.