The National Capital Commission said asbestos, mold, lead and rodents had been removed from the prime minister’s residence.
However, there is no guarantee that the rats will not return, as the house has remained vacant for eight years without a tenant and there are no clear plans for the future.
“There’s a reason why there are rats running around in that space. If you leave your space open, you’re going to have rats running around there, too,” former Heritage Minister Sheila Copps told CBC. he said in a radio interview. the house.
The house at 24 Sussex Drive is in a dire state thanks to successive political leaders who don’t want to be seen spending money renovating the 19th-century house. . The work currently being carried out is maintenance, which “must be addressed whatever decisions the government makes about the future of the Prime Minister’s Office,” the NCC said in a media statement.
the house12:16No more mold and mice — but no decision has been made on 24 Sussex either.
Workers at 24 Sussex Drive removed all asbestos, lead and mold from the crumbling home.
Crews are also removing old electrical wiring and pipes and installing heat pumps to prevent freezing pending further decisions, NCC spokeswoman Valerie Dufour said.
The rats are gone too. Previous reports said it was a rat, but most were rats.
NCC estimates the mansion will require approximately $37 million in repairs and renovations.
The house was built in 1868 by Joseph Currier in the Gothic Revival style. In 1902, the building was sold to fellow lumber baron WC Edwards, who added several new features, including his three-story tower with turret, gingerbread fascia, and portico. These “castle-like” features were removed in the 1940s when the house was requisitioned and renovated for use as the Prime Minister’s residence.
However, it was later renovation work that caused the first political flare-up.
“This goes back to Pierre Trudeau. [and] “It’s a pool from 40 or 50 years ago,” Michael Wernick said. He served as Clerk of the Privy Council from 2016 to 2019 and is currently the Jarislovski Professor of Public Sector Management at the University of Ottawa.
In 1975, when Pierre Trudeau was prime minister, an anonymous private donor paid for the construction of a pool and sauna at 24 Sussex. This renovation tends to come up whenever someone proposes spending money on a building.
“When you put money into the official residence, you’re providing a kind of performance theater from some of the opposition, media and lobbying groups of the day,” Wernick said. “There is no political benefit to proceeding with renovations or new construction. There is only pain.”
Warnick said the current government considered renovating it early on but failed to act.
“In 2016 we came very close to a cabinet decision on the refurbishment of 24 Sussex,” he said. “The matter was brought before the cabinet, which decided not to proceed.”
Andrew McDougall, Stephen Harper’s communications director, said there was a slim chance the incumbent prime minister would be able to complete renovations on his home.
“Obviously, early in the mission, when you’ve just won and people are feeling good, is the best time to do it,” he said.
Mr. McDougall said Mr. Trudeau squandered an opportunity to renovate the mansion when he took office, and Mr. Harper was unable to do so because he was elected by a minority in 2006. When the Conservative Party won a majority in 2011, the world was emerging from the global financial crisis.
“Right now is not the time to want to spend money on things like home improvements,” McDougall said.
Former minister says 24 Sussexes deserve better
Former Liberal deputy prime minister Sheila Copps has lent her support to former prime ministers including Jean Chretien, Harper and Brian Mulroney in a bipartisan effort to end the stalemate and rebuild 24 Sussex. He said he asked if he could do it.
Copps, who now lobbies on behalf of the heritage group Historic Ottawa Development Inc., said she contacted the late former NDP leader Ed Broadbent.
“He immediately stood up and said, yes, we should do this. This is an important piece of Canadian history, and it should be demolished and repurposed for other purposes, like taking out last week’s trash.” It’s not,” Copps said. .
In a statement sent to CBC the house, the office of Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, said: “Any decision regarding the future of 24 Sussex Drive will not be taken lightly.” The statement said the government was still consulting with stakeholders.
The minister’s statement said: “Noting that no major investment has been made in more than 60 years, this ambitious initiative is underway and will address security needs, universal access, historic preservation, the environment and “This will balance the sustainability aspects of
The statement did not say when a decision would be made.
Heritage groups fear further deterioration if this does not happen soon. Some are convinced that politics makes decisions impossible.
“You don’t get praised for not spending money, but you get blamed if the mansion collapses on your watch,” McDougall said. “What we need is a leader with a little bit of confidence. [say] We are a G7 country and an important country on the world stage. We don’t hold things together with bondo or hockey tape.
“At some point, it just becomes embarrassing.”