RCMP Confirms Hazardous Conditions at Kemptville Training Centre

RCMP Veterans’ Association

Veterans Helping Veterans and Their Families


This information is being provided to all Association Members


Secretive RCMP training facility had mould and asbestos, force confirms

Dear Association Members,

Attached is an article that the CBC recently produced regarding the Special I training centre in Kemptville, Ont.

The article describes the serious health hazard that this building presented and suggests that it may have been a factor in at least 6 deaths of members of the Force.

What follows is a short version of the story.  A longer version may be viewed by clicking here.

The longer version includes much greater detail as well as the names and photos of the members who died.

We have also been provided with some history of this type of facility by Toronto Division member, Doug Ralph.  Doug’s information follows  the CBC article.

Additionally Ric Hall of Vancouver Division has provided some insight into these facilities and his remarks follow those of Doug.

This situation is most disquieting.

I would draw your attention to the list of Association Advocates on the Association website available by clicking here.  You will see on the list our Association Chief Advocate, Ruby Burns and the RCMP VAC Liaison officer, Sgt. Kim Hendricken who are both extremely knowledgeable in the area of available health services and who can certainly help you find the right resources if needed.

Thank you to Vancouver and Toronto Division members Ric Hall and Doug Ralph for their help in providing more details regarding this situation.

James Forrest
Director of Communications
RCMP Veterans’

 

Brigitte Bureau · CBC News · Posted: Dec 05, 2019 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: 9 hours ago

The Canada Training Centre was decommissioned in 2006 and demolished the following year.

A former covert RCMP training centre in Kemptville, Ont., that’s being blamed for various health problems did in fact contain asbestos, mould and other “hazardous substances,” the national police force says.

An internal memo sent Tuesday confirmed the now-demolished Canada Training Centre was an unhealthy place to work, and said all employees who worked there will be sent a “formal notification letter” about the conditions there. It was issued the same day CBC/Radio-Canada reported on the concerns of a number of officers about the state of the barracks-like building, which trained an RCMP squad tasked with spy operations before closing down in 2006.

“We can confirm that there were hazardous substances present within the building while it was being used to train Special I installers,” wrote Staff Sgt. Mike Roach in the memo.

“The hazardous substances identified includes friable asbestos, building materials containing silica, rodent and insect infestation, unsafe levels of lead in the water, and hazardous moulds.”

6 troubling deaths

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.

Several Special I agents spoke with Radio-Canada about the state of disrepair at the facility, 50 kilometres south of downtown Ottawa. They also talked about the nature of their training, which involved drilling holes in the walls and the ceiling.

Radio-Canada also spoke to family members of six RCMP officers who trained or worked at the facility and all died between the ages of 39 and 57.
In his memo, Roach said the RCMP was preparing “a formal notification letter that will contain additional information regarding the conditions at Kemptville [and] will be sent directly to every employee that has been identified as having worked in the Kemptville building.”

The RCMP did not respond to requests for an interview about the memo.


Information from Toronto Division member, Doug Ralph:

“Personally I’ve never heard of this place.  Back in ‘my day’ we ‘borrowed’ space at N Div Ottawa from Norm Luker and did training in one of the old hangers,  that progressed in due course to the Force buying an old house for training, and then (obviously) they went to the premises mentioned in this CBC article.

Sad situation that our members were subjected to the hazards mentioned.  We even had 3 telephone poles installed at N div for our members to practice climbing to do wiretaps as Bell refused at the time to do anything ‘up’ their poles for us, all they would do was give us cable and pair info, and we did the rest., which included drilling into the pole using a brace and bit to put our interface device that connected the ‘target’ to ‘our pair’.  Not uncommon for a Bell employee to trip across our installation and not knowing what it was to rip it out.  The ‘old days’ for sure.   – Doug


Information from Vancouver Division member, Ric Hall

This may also be of interest to members who trained at the Carleton Place Training Centre, (CPTC) which was built at the same time and of similar design as the Kemptville building.  The CPTC building was also used by Special I for their training, for those of us who have stayed or worked out of the building we can attest to all left over paint cans and other equipment used for Special I training. 

Not only was Carleton Place used for Special I it was used for Emergency Response Team and VIP training.  In 1986 with the creation of the Special Emergency Response Team (SERT)  CPTC was the temporary home of SERT for almost three years  pending the opening of Dwyer Hill Training Centre (DHTC).  During the early days of SERT members literally lived and ate at CPTC while waiting to physically transfer from their home units to the Ottawa area and once settled in it was our work space till moving to DHTC in 1989. 

Perhaps, there are members who worked/trained there that also may have had medical issues that they did not connect to working out of CPTC.


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