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

Sidney could take additional action around speculation tax

Council to consider steps later this fall after staff review of provincial statistics

Victoria People’s Party candidate says campaign signs stolen around city

PPC candidate Alyson Culbert says she finds theft ‘disturbing’

VIDEO: Greater Victoria, here’s the news you missed this weekend

Andrew Berry trial nears end, Victoria joins tree-planting pledge and more

Three second-half goals lead Cavalry over Victoria’s Pacific FC

Cavalry FC downed Pacific FC 4-1 on Sunday in Canadian Premiere League action

Island music trivia tournament a hit on World Alzheimer’s Day

More than $13,000 raised by people naming that tune

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Most Read