Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on January 28, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

Burst pipe in Parliament’s West Block floods Trudeau out of meeting

A burst sprinkler pipe flooded several levels of the building

Members of Parliament are used to raising a political stink as part of their job.

But there was an odour of a different kind Tuesday coming out of the newly renovated West Block building that is now the temporary home of the House of Commons — the kind of smell that comes from water soaking freshly installed carpet.

READ MORE: A look inside the future temporary home of the House of Commons

A burst sprinkler pipe flooded several levels of the building, a day after members of Parliament started working there, including a section where the federal cabinet had met just hours before.

“I haven’t seen it, but I can smell it,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said as he left his office, near where water was pouring out of the broken pipe.

Rob Wright, the bureaucrat in charge of the recent West Block renovations, which took seven years at a cost nearing $1 billion, said the flooding appeared to be isolated to a single sprinkler pipe adjacent to a washroom.

But enough water poured out to cause the evacuation of a cafeteria two floors below.

Maintenance crews scrambled to mop up the mess, moving large barrels of brownish water out of the third floor meeting space, and bringing in industrial-style fans to try to dry the place out.

“It’s, I think, growing pains in a new building,” Trudeau said as he left the building to meet the premier of Prince Edward Island — in a different place, having been flooded out of the intended one.

On their first sitting day in West Block on Monday, plenty of members of Parliament took wrong turns and had to be directed to the House of Commons they’re to use while Centre Block undergoes at least a decade of renovations.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Group rescued unharmed after attempting to tube Lakelse River

Terrace Search and Rescue brought in helicopter to conduct search

Police investigate July 2 homicide in Houston

Man succumbed to injuries at Pearson Road residence

Terrace couple awarded by Governor General for volunteer work

Ron and Mavis Ramsey recognized for founding society that covers medical expenses

Skeena Sawmills in Terrace inks fibre deals with Kitselas Forestry and Kalum Ventures

Sawmill set to purchase around 45,000 cubic metres of fibre per year

Skeena Sawmills in Terrace reach labour agreement with local United Steelworkers union

The four and a half year long deal was ratified on May 19, 2020 and is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2020

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Most Read