UPDATE: More bedbugs found at provincial court

Louis Power
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Provincial court in Atlantic Place in St. John's.

While scouring provincial court on the fourth floor of Atlantic Place in St. John’s last night, Orkin Canada’s K-9 unit found more bugs.

The bugs were found on eight chairs. Three of those chairs were in the Crown attorney’s interview room, three more were in the settlement conference room, one was in the closed-circuit TV area and one was in the court reporters’ break room.

The rooms where bugs were found will likely be treated today, if not tomorrow. A process to eradicate all the bedbugs in the court has been authorized for tomorrow, according to a news release received this morning from Chief Judge D. Mark Pike. It could continue through Sunday.

A court employee’s home has also been checked by the K-9 unit, and bedbugs were found on a couch. According to the news release, the home is likely being treated today.

Previous story from Thursday afternoon: 

A Crown attorney refused to go to work this morning due to the ongoing bedbug situation at provincial court on the fourth floor of Atlantic Place in St. John’s.

A bedbug was first discovered Oct. 23 outside the holding cells, and four more were found Nov. 20.

According to a news release from Chief Judge Mark Pike, Crown attorneys have since been told that bedbugs are not a valid reason to refuse to come to work if court is open. Employees who refuse to attend work for that reason may be discipliined.

In a meeting this morning with court representatives, Orkin Canada, the Department of Justice and Martek, it was decided that Orkin will fumigate the whole fourth floor as soon as possible.

Orkin’s K-9 unit will continue to scour the floor for bed bugs this evening. If bugs are found, the area(s) will be vacuumed, steamed and sprayed. Areas where none are found will still be vacuumed and steamed.

The company has estimated that the fumigation process could take up to two days, and Pike said it is hoped the process can start Saturday.

Occupational Health and Safety inspectors are at the court this afternoon. According to the news release, employees will have an education session on the matter tomorrow in Courtroom 7.

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Recent comments

  • GrowaSet
    December 21, 2012 - 17:46

    Hmmm..... If there wasn't a Gag order in place for all Staff at the Court House perhaps we could here from Judge Pike's wife who is also a Judge on the "INFESTED 4th". I'm sure this dapper lady is just tickled pink to know that the hallways and offices surrounding her very own office have tested positive for these harmless critters? Well harmless as long as you don't mind a female laying 1000 eggs and using you as a host to feed on in the comfort of your very own BED! Merry Christmas staff at Provincial Court! Time for you guys and every other renter in Atlantic Place to unite and walk out. If those bugs are on the "INFESTED 4th" they are on the other floors too....

  • Judy
    December 21, 2012 - 12:58

    If Judge Mark Pike finds any bed bugs carried to his home unbeknownst to him, such as in his briefcase, boots, etc., I bet it will change his opinion.

    • Mom
      December 22, 2012 - 08:35

      Just wait until the schools get them. There are a few students who go to court. And they will carry the bedbugs into schools. Guarenteed.

  • Marg
    December 21, 2012 - 08:28

    These horrible bugs will EVENTUALLY spread all over the City and other areas, especially to those who cannot afford to have their apartments or houses sprayed or fumigated. What a sickening thought. They are worse than earwigs.

  • noones business
    December 21, 2012 - 00:39

    suck it up princess,alot of us are exposed to stuff we dont want to be.

  • Jerome
    December 20, 2012 - 20:37

    If you do only the fourth floor, that will just send them to other floors and areas.

  • bernard
    December 20, 2012 - 19:35

    Yes boy,and could do Goverbment House at the same

  • SleepTight
    December 20, 2012 - 19:26

    I know someone VERY close to this whole shimozzle and let it be known that this has been ongoing now for WEEKS! Employees at Provincial Court from administration staff to the Sheriffs Officers have been under a pseudo Gag order to not discuss the findings and the widespread severity of the problem. The fact is the bugs are everywhere on the 4th floor from the courts to the holding cells to mgmt's offices. NO ONE has wanted to assume any responsibility of handling this situation properly, right from the onset. Employees spoke of walking off the job and that notion was met with threats of discipline from superiors on several levels of government. Ignorance has also been alive and well in this fiasco...one area where 15-20 Sheriffs work and congregate presented positive findings for the critters, yet NO ONE from their superiors including the High Sheriff have even ventured into their facility to assure them that things are in being done to address concerns. At a cost of Approx. $3400 to have your house checked and cleaned if necessary, no one will give any of the staff an answer on who will endure this cost. Merry Christmas Court Staff, Sleep Tight and don't let those Bed Bugs BITE...

  • david
    December 20, 2012 - 17:28

    Suck it up, buttercup...or get another job --- one that better suits your delicate sensibilities.

    • carogers
      December 21, 2012 - 15:24

      Ok David, your lack of education in simple matters is showing. Bedbugs are not a matter to be "sucked up" by anyone, nor should they be present in the workplace. Get out the dictionary and look up infestation...ya know like...out of control parasites crawling around...this is not a bit of mud on your shoe, these are using human blood to live. Dictionary says they "live off a host" the workers are expected to be productive in that kind of environment? If you think bedbugs are ok to live with I'm sure your idea of "clean" is different then most.

  • corrupt to the bone
    December 20, 2012 - 16:46

    fumigate the court you say, the complete justice system needs to be fumigated, to get rid of the bed bug corruption that lies within.

  • CARogers
    December 20, 2012 - 16:15

    Well the employees can thank the health department for not responding to the bedbug infestation at the low income apartment complex. All parties refused to deal with the issue the landlord NLHC Dept of Social Services and the health department all passed the buck. Naturally with so many apartments affected eventually somone would transfer the bugs from their clothing onto a fabric type chair (for example) in a public building. When the buck was being passed it should have stopped once the paid employees who were responsible for public health were informed of the situation. This problem was not addressed by business people involved the landl lord and NLHC with their financial concerns a priorty. They decided to let the problem be some one elses issue and did nothing while knowing the residents were low income, undereducated and some even in care of social workers, even the public health department did not come forward and explain how to contain the problem, it was let to move out into the community. If this was a case of an infectious disease half St. John's would be dead or dying.

  • Eli
    December 20, 2012 - 15:13

    It would be appropriate at this time to fumigate the government side of the House of Assembly. God, it needs it.

  • Court Watcher
    December 20, 2012 - 14:57

    If the courts handled the cases of all these scumbags in one appearance, it would reduce risk; instead, we see the same old gang of louts and repeat offenders, day after day.