Rodents found in Rideau Hall, says report
Rideau Hall may be one of the most exclusive addresses in the country, but in light of a safety audit written last year, it might not be fit for a Queen.
The audit found dangerous wiring as well as rodents roaming in the kitchen.
The report examined many properties of the National Capital Commission, a Crown corporation responsible for looking after federal lands and buildings in the nation's capital. It concludes that the agency is doing a lousy job when it comes to health and safety.
Dr. Bill Pomfret, the author of the report, discovered numerous fire and electrical hazards in NCC buildings, including Rideau Hall, the Governor General's residence.
The report also outlines an ongoing rodent problem in the kitchens of Rideau Hall, something NCC managers say is now under control and being monitored by a private company.
"It's a licensed firm that monitors the situation and in the last two years there has not been any report of any creatures at Rideau Hall," said the NCC's Suzanne Gustaffson.
She added that subsequent audits show the vast majority of problems in the report have been resolved.
But some NCC buildings are clearly still in need of repair, including a service building with windows that the report highlighted as being in such a poor state that cleaners refused to wash them.
The findings don't surprise John Gordon, a vice-president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada. He says health and safety is ignored throughout the federal government.
"It's easy to talk and say, 'We will look after it.' It's another thing to put some energy into it and get results. They don't put their money where their mouth is," said Gordon.
The NCC, however, says it developed an action plan soon after it received the report and has just completed what it calls a health and safety blitz for employees.