Letter to ADM (IE): visit to CFB Kingston

29 March 2018

 

Elizabeth Van Allen
Assistant Deputy Minister
Infrastructure and Environment
101 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa ON K1A 0K2

 

Dear Ms. Van Allen:

I am writing to follow up on my Office’s visit to Canadian Forces Base Kingston from 19-22 February 2018. My staff and I met with military personnel, military family members, DND civilian employees, and Non-Public Funds / Personnel Support Program employees. The feedback that we received during these engagements helped to provide a picture of what is working well on the base and which areas have room for improvement.

During the visit, a number of infrastructure issues were raised that I would like to bring to your attention. In particular, my team heard concerns regarding the state of disrepair of several buildings on the base and at the Royal Military College. For example, we were informed that the Royal Military College dorms had hot water issues and that students were traveling to the gym to shower.

We were advised that certain areas of the gym roof leak and that buckets have to be put out on rainy days to mitigate slipping hazards. We also heard that the temperature in the field house often rises to 35 degrees Celsius, which poses a health risk to CAF members performing their Force test. It was identified that excessive humidity in the field house makes the floor sticky and that it also causes equipment in the gym to rust. Concerns were also raised about humidity in the Communications and Electronics museum, which reportedly impacts the comfort of museum visitors and has caused displays to rot.

Snow removal around the gym was identified as an issue. My team was informed that staff are responsible for shoveling around emergency exits, but that the plow pushes the snow back during large snowfalls, which blocks some of the walkways and emergency exits. This could pose a safety risk to patrons and staff and limit gym access for individuals with reduced mobility.

Wheelchair access to facilities on the base was also raised as an issue. My team was informed that the gym has not had a working wheelchair lift for over two years and that the base headquarters does not have a functioning elevator.

It was also identified that the base has no formal recycling policy and that while there are recycling receptacles, the materials deposited within are transferred to the garbage. Employees outlined that they regularly collect recyclables throughout their workplace and bring them home.

I am available to assist should you wish to follow up on any of these matters. I am a firm believer that collaboration and sharing best practices leads to long-lasting positive changes for the Defence community.

Sincerely,

 

Gary Walbourne
Ombudsman

c.c.: Commodore S.N. Cantelon

Director General, Morale and Welfare Services
and Chief Executive Officer of the Staff of the Non-Public Funds, Canadian Forces

 

Colonel J.G.P. Lemyre
Commander, Canadian Forces Base Kingston

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