I was not surprised to learn that the Public Service Alliance of Canada is formally protesting against the lack basic health maintenance in the Térrasses de la Chaudière, a federal government complex, in Gatineau, Que., and a neighbour to Ottawa. There are apparently bed bugs and even bats in the complex. As a retired federal public servant who worked in the building two decades ago, this current health issue well reminds me of similar concerns which then were raised over the quality of the air in the building, which affected our work delivery. I recall a colleague expressing his concern while we were in the washroom, saying, “Friday’s ‘fart’ is Monday’s fresh air.” When we worked in the complex, we would go for a break to get some fresh air in the adjacent hotel or we would take a circular walk outside. One now must compare the work conditions on Parliament Hill with the current overall maintenance of Térrasses de la Chaudière. The minister and his/her team plus the public servants share the same space to healthily serve the public. Let not history repeat itself.
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