Asbestos cleanup planned for Heron Road government building
Plan to clean 875 Heron Rd. comes after start of Labour Canada investigation
The federal government is planning a massive asbestos cleanup at an Ottawa office building where health concerns have been raised by former workers.
A post on the MERX contracting site says Public Works and Government Services Canada is looking for bids to clean up asbestos at the Canada Revenue Agency's Ottawa Technology Centre at 875 Heron Rd.
"Damaged ACMs in the form of mechanical pipe fittings, mechanical tank insulation, mechanical duct/breeching insulation, fire stop and asbestos-containing debris was observed in various locations throughout" the building, according to the June 3 post, which goes on to recommend its repair and/or removal.
Denis Lapointe was a staff electrician in the building for 16 years and said he only found out there was asbestos there through access to information requests.
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He said this week that the details in the government's request confirm what those documents showed him.
"It just shows it's been there for years," he said.
However, Lapointe said he wondered about the timing of the cleanup request since he's been in touch with a health and safety inspector with the federal Labour Program who recently started investigating the building.
"Why would it have to be done now, right in the middle of an investigation? So at the end of the investigation they can say 'well we checked everything and everything is OK?'"
The Public Service Alliance of Canada said the request for bids in the middle of a Labour Program inspection raises alarm bells for them as well.
Both the union and Lapointe said they're concerned about the health of the people still working there, and they're looking into whether labour inspectors or the building's health and safety committee knows about the planned cleanup.
The Department of Public Works and Government Services Canada did not respond to a request for comment.