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October 15, 2018

Federal government promises plan to deal with air quality in Gatineau building

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The government is promising it will come up with a new plan and do more tests to deal with bad air quality in the Terrasses de la Chaudière office complex in response to orders from a federal labour code inspector.

Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions (BGIS), the company responsible for maintenance in the Gatineau, Que., complex, which Public Services and Procurement Canada owns, sent a letter to occupants on Thursday.

The letter promises a plan to improve air quality in the building, along with more testing, but so far neither the company or the government have specified a timeline for these improvements.The labour code inspector found the building’s HVAC system was insufficient for the number of workers in the building.

A CBC story on the building earlier this week identified that many workers experienced health problems they associated with the building’s poor air quality.

In addition to concerns that not enough air is flowing to certain parts of the building, there are also concerns about bats that have nested inside.

Radio-Canada reviewed an email exchange between employees about the issue, noting bat droppings had remained on a windowsill for weeks.

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada said in an email Friday night they would be working to ensure there would be more inspections to look out for bats and their droppings, and that they would step up vacuuming in the building.

Greg McGillis, a regional vice-president with the Public Service Alliance of Canada, said the government needs to deal with the problems the labour inspections have identified.

Keep reading on CBC News


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