Black mould and asbestos remain in receiving home

Black mould and asbestos were discovered in the Yukon Children’s Receiving Home months ago. A professional investigation was completed in June.

Black mould and asbestos were discovered in the Yukon Children’s Receiving Home months ago.

A professional investigation was completed in June. The outcome was 10 recommendations to fix the mould problem.

But nothing happened.

“I’m worried about the safety of the children and the workers in that facility,” said Steve Cardiff on Monday.

The NDP MLA toured the facility on Friday.

“It was never identified as an urgent matter,” said Health Minister Brad Cathers on Tuesday.

“We’ve been advised by the experts there is no current health risk to staff and to children.

“However, we must repair or replace the facility.”

A new facility has been needed for years, said Cardiff.

“It’s a rabbit warren.”

The hallways are narrow, there are blind corners and four different living areas that are difficult to supervise, he said.

“It would be very hard to get out in an emergency.”

The staff is concerned, he said.

On Friday, 14 children were living at the home.

It’s long overdue to be replaced, said Cardiff.

In the 2001 Anglin report on Yukon children in care, it was recommended the receiving home be replaced with two smaller therapeutic group homes — one for boys and one for girls.

But no action has been taken, said Cardiff.

Before the receiving home can be repaired or replaced, there needs to be a place to move the staff and children, said Cathers.

Right now the black mould and asbestos are sealed off, he said.

“But repairing them would disturb them and they could potentially become airborne.”

Finding a location to move the staff and children to is tricky. And city zoning is slowing things up, said Cathers.

“In discussions I’ve had with them, (the city) would be open to working with the government on those zoning issues,” said Cardiff in the legislature on Tuesday.

It shouldn’t have taken this long, he added.

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