Ottawa

Bedbug infestation sends federal workers home

Hundreds of federal government employees are working from home or by alternative arrangements after a persistent bedbug problem forced them out of their office building in Gatineau, Que.

Gatineau office building off limits until Tuesday

Public Service and Procurement Canada say a localized bedbug issue was not resolved with previous treatments and the entire building at 70 Crémazie Street in Gatineau, Que., is being treated. (Google StreetView)

Hundreds of federal government employees are working from home or by alternative arrangements after a persistent bedbug problem forced them out of their office building in Gatineau, Que.

Public Service and Procurement Canada (PSPC) said previous attempts to treat the issue at 70 Crémazie Street have been unsuccessful.

PSPC is treating the entire building "as well as PSPC employees' homes, as necessary." The department says employees have been sent home until the situation is resolved.

They said they'd been looking into some employees being forced to go to work at 70 Cremazie. 

They're expected to be out of the building until Tuesday.

Workers notified Tuesday

Eddy Bourque, national president of the Canada Employment and Immigration Union (CEIU), said workers were notified Tuesday morning to not come to the building. He said between 500 to 600 CEIU members work at 70 Crémazie.

On Wednesday, the union said all employees are being accommodated offsite. 

In a statement Tuesday evening, IRCC said all of its employees have been instructed to find alternative arrangements and that such arrangements "are available to all IRCC employees engaged in all business lines and types of work."

He said he wants the department to also commit to support for employees should they have brought bedbugs home. He said the bugs have been detected in the building going back to 2018.

"I would like, once for all, that they would fix the problem for the employees' health and for anybody else's health that the employees are in contact with at home," he said.  

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