Air quality OK in federal building
Thunder Bay’s RCMP detachment was able to move back into the Archibald Street fedeal building Thursday after air-quality tests determined the absence of any health risk.
“All bacterial tests for this building revealed no health and safety issues,” said a Public Works and Government Services memo.
The RCMP and Canadian Grain Commission workers also based in the building were forced to vacate the premises Tuesday due to air quality concerns. The building houses about 65 federal employees.
“We were back in (Thursday) afternoon after we got clearance from a health and safety unit,” said RCMP Staff Sgt. Norman Roy.
Since Tuesday, officers had been set up in trailers outside the building but still on the property.
The Grain Commission workers are expected to move back in today.
The memo, from Public Works Parliamentary Affairs director Brock Stephenson, was made available at the request of MP John Rafferty, who forwarded it to the media.
“Even though there is no health risk present, a thorough cleaning of the (building’s) cooling towers was scheduled,” the memo said.
“An independent industry specialist has determined the building is suitable for normal occupancy.”
Public Works’ media department had been unable to provide an update about the building prior to Rafferty obtaining the memo, even though The Chronicle-Journal had requested information Wednesday afternoon.
Rafferty (NDP-Thunder Bay Rainy River) said the delay in releasing information was likely fuelling rumours. Some had voiced concerns about legionnaires’ disease, which can spread through air conditioning and ventilation units in buildings.
Thunder Bay District Health Unit infectious diseases programs manager Darlene Binette said there are currently no confirmed cases of legionnaires within the health unit’s jurisdiction.