The RCMP is trying to track down everyone who passed through a former covert training centre in Kemptville, Ont., that was contaminated with mould, asbestos and other hazardous substances.
Before it closed down in 2006, the now-demolished Canada Training Centre trained an RCMP squad tasked with spy operations.
A Radio-Canada investigation in late 2019 shone a light on workplace health and safety problems at the former facility, which was located about 50 kilometres south of downtown Ottawa. Radio-Canada also spoke to family members of six RCMP officers who spent time at the facility, and who all died between the ages of 39 and 57.
In an email to members of the force across the country, chief human resources officer Gail Johnson said the RCMP is trying to “identify persons that attended the facility either as instructors, participants, or staff members.”
Johnson also provided greater detail as to the extent of the building’s contamination.
Lead, insects, rodents
“Following a review of available records, the RCMP has confirmed that there were hazardous substances present within the Kemptville building while it was being used as a training facility,” wrote Johnson.
“The hazardous substances identified include friable asbestos; building materials containing silica; lead in peeling paint; unsafe levels of lead, E.coli and coliform bacteria in the potable water; hazardous moulds; and rodent and insect infestation.”
A formal letter outlining the building’s condition will be sent to everyone who attended the Kemptville facility from 1988 until 2006, Johnson wrote. The force has also created a special email address so people can get in touch.
The training centre housed a school used mainly for recruits of the force’s Special I unit, whose members are called upon to install electronic surveillance equipment during undercover investigations.