Ottawa (Canada) Oct 09: The federal government is treating a Gatineau, Que., office building for a persistent bedbug issue, which is forcing hundreds of employees to work from home or by alternative arrangements.
Public Service and Procurement Canada (PSPC) said previous attempts to treat the issue at 70 Cremazie 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.
Eddy Bourque, national president of the Canada Employment and Immigration Union (CEIU), says workers were notified Tuesday morning to not come to the building. He said between 500 to 600 CEIU members work at 70 Cremazie.
On Tuesday afternoon, Bourque said he was checking with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) about some employees that still had to work on the building's sixth floor.
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.
Source: CBC News