Courthouse should remain empty until clean and safe for staff

The environmentally caused employee health issues at the Gore Bay courthouse are disturbing, especially in light of the fact that several people who work there either full-time or occasionally all began to exhibit similar welts and skin rashes around the same time this fall.

Mould has been identified and asbestos was used in the building. There is bat dung above some ceilings. All of these elements are harmful to human health.

Employees have been told that the building will be cleaned of all of these offending and toxic materials.

Because of the potential for serious long-term negative effects on human health by any one of mould, asbestos and bat guano, let alone all three together in the same work environment, this matter must be taken very seriously and it is vitally important that the building be thoroughly cleansed, as large, multi-level as it is, of toxic materials that have very likely settled into the building’s many nooks and crannies.

Court is presently carrying on at the Gore Bay town office and the Legion with counter services available at the Ontario Government Information Office. A longer-term consolidation could see courthouse occupying the community hall, which has two spacious levels in order to give the courthouse building a thorough inside-out cleaning?

If this should take an extra three or four months or more, so be it.

The issue must be the long-term health of the people employed in the courthouse and registry office complex.

There is no room for compromise on an issue like this and the government of Ontario, that monitors everyone else’s workplaces for safety, must be seen to be setting the bar very high for its own employees in a workplace it owns.