GORE BAY—The discovery of mould is once again plaguing operations at the Gore Bay courthouse.
Gail Hunter, union representative of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) for employees at the courthouse, told the Recorder on Monday that mould has once again, “been discovered in the Crown’s office. There was a water break in April in the bathroom (located in the Crown’s office) and mould was discovered when work started on it.” She noted that some employees can’t be in the office due to symptoms caused by the mould.
“We’re not sure yet (how much mould) there is,” said Ms. Hunter, although she said the problem is not as serious as it was late last fall, when the courthouse had to be closed due to mould and asbestos being discovered in the building.
Brendan Crawley, a communications person with the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Office, told the Recorder in an email that, “a water leak occurred in a public washroom on the main floor of the Gore Bay courthouse during the week of March 31, 2012. During the clean-up work, mould was discovered. The leak also affected the Crown Attorney administration area, which is adjacent to the washroom.”
“The ministry took immediate action when the leak occurred and the mould was identified,” said Mr. Crawley. “While the renovations to these areas continue, Crown Attorney operations have been temporarily relocated to accommodate their space requirements. Operations continue as usual in the remaining unaffected areas of the court house. Some Ontario Court of Justice matters are being relocated to an alternate location (the Gore Bay Town Office and the Gore Bay Curling Club), but all other matters continue at the courthouse.”
“On April 30, a request for proposals was issued for flood repair and a complete retrofit of the washroom,” said Mr. Crawley. “The washroom will be completely gutted and fully renovated. As there is no vacant space available in the court house, the Crown’s office will be moved off site for the duration of the construction.”
As reported previously, the Gore Bay courthouse had officially opened again for operations in early January, having been closed since the end of November 2011 after mould and asbestos had been discovered in the building. At the time, mould, asbestos and bat guano had been uncovered in the building while renovations had been taking place on the second floor courtroom, after employees had complained of having similar symptoms including rashes and fatigue. Tests were then conducted and revealed the presence of mould and asbestos, while the bat guano was discovered during the cleaning of the attic in the court house building.