VIDEO: Masse Calls for Answers After Federal Building Closes

Windsor West MP Brian Masse

A Windsor MP is calling on the federal government for answers after the recently renovated Canada Revenue Agency building was shut down.

Hundreds of federal employees were forced to leave their workplace on University Ave. last month because of structural concerns last month. According to the union representing workers, 300 people work at 441 University Ave. and they've been complaining about strange vibrations.

An engineering firm was called in to investigate and the building was closed because it couldn't determine if the structure was 100 per cent safe. Something Windsor West New Democrat MP Brian Masse finds odd, considering the building underwent $10.8 million in renovations last year.


Federal government building at 441 University Ave. West in Windsor (AM800 file photo)

"The amount of money put into the building needs to be evaluated because I know they did a lot of work on the outside, but for a decade, the inside has required extensive work," says Masse, who goes on to say the building has a long history of complaints that should have been addressed during the renovation.

Masse says the federal government works outside local building codes, and that needs to be re-evaluated.

"That's one of the questionable practices I've raised, not only for this property, but for others. They actually don't have to follow the same by-laws and codes," says Masse. "The worker safety, and also public safety involved in this, because the building's been extensively used for services ... You really have to question the practice and ask why they get a free pass on inspection processes that other municipal buildings would go through?"

Another engineering report is underway to determine the next steps for the building, but there's no timeline when the report will be complete.

A statement from Public Services and Procurement Canada indicates two independent engineering assessments confirmed the building is safe to occupy. 

In the meantime, employees are either working from home or at different locations throughout the city.

— with files from AM800's Patty Handysides.