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

Officer shot, man arrested after standoff near Argenta

The officer suffered non-life threatening injuries

PLACE NAMES: More Nelson neighbourhoods

Parklands among lost Nelson neighbourhood names

Books for Kids campaign aiming for $30,000

The fundraising is for free books and literacy programs for thousands of children

‘If we do nothing, the herd will certainly be extirpated’: Caribou maternity pen proposed in Nakusp

The Arrow Lakes Caribou Society is waiting for a response from the province

‘Unity Sailing’ presses for end to ferry dispute

Over 100 people protested the ongoing labour action

VIDEO: Langley woman’s security camera records its own theft

Langley family discovers early morning grab was recorded

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

B.C. VIEWS: Wolf kill, not backcountry bans, saving caribou

B.C.’s largest herds turn the corner from extinction

Pearson nets shootout winner as Canucks clip Flyers 3-2

Vancouver picks up second straight home win

Map on Elections Canada website sends Nanaimo-Ladysmith voters to landfill

Address for polling station correct, but Google Map address differs

BC Children’s Hospital launches 2 new virtual care sites bringing total to 19 across province

Provincial initiative allows pediatric patients to see health specialists through video

‘Wham-bam out the door’: Surrey man’s front yard left ruined by scamming landscaper

Resident warns neighbours to be careful of door-to-door salesmen

PHOTOS: Kipchoge becomes first runner to dip under 2 hours for marathon

Olympic champion and world record holder from Kenya clocks 1 hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds

Most Read