Earlier this year, I issued a public statement to address health and safety concerns identified at the former RCMP training facility in Kemptville, Ontario. The RCMP has been following through on our commitment to follow up with personnel who either trained or worked at this historical site. In particular, the RCMP has:
- Created a dedicated email address to allow current and past employees who attended the site to identify themselves and request further information and instructions: Kemptvilletraining_formationKemptville@rcmp-grc.gc.ca
- Provided the CHRO's statement to the RCMP Veterans Association to publish in their magazine, as an additional means of reaching former members
- Created a repository of persons confirmed or who self-identified as having attended the site
- Instituted a verification process to validate attendance and employment information of persons who identified themselves though the dedicated email address: Kemptvilletraining_formationKemptville@rcmp-grc.gc.ca
- Created a phased-approach process for the notification of verified attendees to provide them further instructions
- Issued a first wave of personalised letters to verified attendees
In addition to our intense focus on the COVID crisis and its impact on RCMP workplaces, operations and employees, the Kemptville issue is an important health and safety priority and we are doing our utmost to ensure personalised letters are sent to every verified attendee in as timely a manner as possible.
The fact that a self-identified person has not yet received their personalised letter does not preclude them from consulting their physician to report health concerns and whether they could be related to a past exposure to the hazards identified in my statement. We encourage them to have a discussion with their physician to assess if there are any long-term impacts that could potentially be linked to activities that would have been undertaken while at the facility.
Below is a summary of the contents of the personalised letters we are sending:
- The letter acknowledges that the employee who may have attended the facility may not have been notified of its contaminants at the time of their attendance
- The letter informs the recipient of the hazards that have been identified at the facility, the possible routes of exposure, the activities that would have contributed to a risk of exposure, and to guide them in documenting the possible exposure
- The letter lists the contaminants identified at the facility:
- friable asbestos
- building materials containing silica
- lead in peeling paint
- unsafe levels of lead, E. coli and coliform bacteria in the potable water
- hazardous molds
- rodent and insect infestations
- The letter explains what specific tasks/activities could have led to a possible exposure, and reiterates that an exposure does not necessarily mean that it affected the person's health
- The letter encourages the recipient to consult their physician to report health concerns and whether they could be related to a past exposure to the identified hazards to assess if there are any long-term impacts that could potentially be linked to the activities that would have been undertaken while at the facility
- The letter includes a form to be completed by the recipient and returned to the RCMP to create an official record of their potential exposure
- The letter explains that all submitted reports will be reviewed and analysed to determine follow-up requirements with the recipient
- The letter indicates that should the recipient indicate they have a specific injury or illness linked to their attendance at the Kemptville facility, they will be provided further instructions
Additionally, the RCMP is currently in the process of implementing a hazards identification training course that will be delivered to all Special "I" personnel, which will help them detect, mitigate and report hazards encountered operationally and during training.
Finally, the RCMP is coordinating internally across several business lines (Occupational Health and Safety, Training, and Real Property) to ensure that, prior to any training taking place, the location is vetted thoroughly to ensure the safety of instructors, personnel and attendees.
I want to emphasize that the RCMP values the health and safety of all persons. We have extensive policies, operational procedures, training and equipment in place to protect the health, safety and well-being of our employees and the communities we serve, and we continuously seek to improve in these areas.
Chief Human Resources Officer