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

Just Posted

Northwest local governments team up to fill in future employment gaps

Around 17,000 jobs will need to be filled in the region over the next eight years

Poetry month sees launch of “Oona River Poems” at Rupert library

Peter Christensen consciously and lovingly documents our physical and psychological landscapes

Lily Swanson celebrates her 90th birthday in Prince Rupert

The Acropolis Manor resident has 22 grandchildren and is a great grandmother to 25 children

Tenacious seven Rupert runners in Seattle

Jamie Komadina places 9th overall in her category at the Oiselle Tenacious Ten race on April 21

Monthly bus passes on Port Edward route go up $24

Adult fare goes up $1 one way to and from Prince Rupert on BC Transit’s Route 60

Prince Rupert students share portraits of kindness with children in Peru

The Memory Project gives teens a chance to sharpen their art skills and global awareness

Should B.C. parents receive money if they make sure their kids are vaccinated?

New survey looks at public opinion around government’s role in forcing immunizations

Defence accuses officer of ‘incompetence’ in trial for B.C. man accused in daughters’ murder

Double murder trial for the Victoria father accused of killing his two young daughters continues

‘Cutthroat’ sport of wine tasting happening in B.C.

BC Tasting Games are underway with competitions in three Okanagan communities.

Early data suggests no post-legalization spike in drug-impaired driving charges

Many police departments are prioritizing investigations related to drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine

WATCH: South Vancouver Island shooting an ‘isolated and targeted’ incident, say police

One person in custody, another fled following shooting and crash on West Shore

Woe, Canada: Bruins down Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 7

No Canadian teams left in Stanley Cup playoffs

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

Most Read