Despite a $10.8-million renovation, a federal building in Windsor has been evacuated.
More than 300 workers at the building at 441 University Avenue are now working at home or in other buildings due to safety concerns.
Windsor West New Democrat MP Brian Masse is calling for an independent inquiry to help figure out why this building is experiencing safety issues less than a year after welcoming staff.
“What happened in the procurement process here? Was it done extensively enough? Was it prioritized properly?” asks Masse.
The workers were moved out of the building on Thursday after the building was deemed unsafe.
Most of those workers are with the Canada Revenue Agency.
“Nearly $11 million was used on renovations for a building that's not safe for people to do work in and the consequence is people are actually working from home when they can,” says Masse.
Workers had to move out after an engineer found the potential for a second-floor collapse.
Staff had raised red flags since moving in to the building in late 2018, about vibrating floors and problem-lighting.
First vice-president of the Union of Taxation Employees Doug Gaetz, tells AM800 News the union supports the decision to close the building on University Avenue.
“What's concerning also is they just moved from the Paul Martin building and all the problems they had in there in that building and then move over here to find out there's even further issues is quite concerning,” says Gaetz.
Windsor West MP @BrianMasseMP calling for an independent inquiry into the evaluation, renovation and inspection of the renovations done at 441 University Avenue after over 300 government workers were escorted out of the building over safety concerns last week @CTVWindsor pic.twitter.com/6LnaH47BlT— Ricardo Veneza (@RVenezaCTV) July 4, 2019
According to Masse, while privacy concerns are valid, he stresses there are protocols in place to regulate government workers using sensitive data at home — including government secure hardware.
Masse plans to press the government over a longstanding concern — an inspection exemption for federal projects — that he believes contributed to the quality control problems.