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EXCLUSIVE: RCMP investigating arson fire that destroyed TMX equipment

Western Standard sources said the fire, near Merritt destroyed a 3-Line cable puller, worth about $1-million.

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The RCMP are investigating an arson fire that destroyed a $1-million piece of equipment helping building the TMX pipeline in B.C., the Western Standard has learned.

Western Standard sources said the May 19 fire, near Merritt destroyed a 3-Line cable puller, worth about $1-million.

The equipment was burned down to the frame.

RCMP have confirmed the fire and said the same piece of equipment was vandalized a day earlier and also had fuel stolen from it.

The fire scene had been secured by Merritt RCMP, for a full examination completed by forensic specialists and fire investigators with the RCMP Southeast District General Investigation Section,” said RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey.

Courtesy RCMP

He said RCMP has since learned that there were individuals camping over the weekend in the immediate area of the impacted vehicle. GIS investigators are seeking to identify those campers, as they may hold key information.

Police are also asking all motorists who may have travelled thru the area of Highway 5A and Tillery Road, outside of Merritt BC on the evening of May 18 into the early morning hours of May 19, to review their dash camera footage and contact police.

At this stage of the investigation it is unknown whether the acts were targeted in nature or simply crimes of opportunity,” said O’Donaghey.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Merritt RCMP Detachment at 250-378-4262 or the RCMP Southeast District GIS team at 250-869-2215. For those who wish to remain completely anonymous, please call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

The feds bought the Trans Mountain pipeline for $4.5 billion in May, 2018, after Kinder Morgan, pulled out because of political and environmental opposition.

In February, the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed the latest attempt by four B.C. indigenous groups to quash the Government of Canada’s approval of the TMX clearing the way for the 1,150-km, 890,000 bbl/d line between Edmonton and Burnaby.

The cost to complete the project, from Alberta to the lower mainland, now stands at $12.6 billion.

Construction along the entire route should be complete in 2022.

The original Trans Mountain Pipeline was built in 1953 and the expansion is essentially a twinning of this existing 1,150-kilometre route.

The system will go from approximately 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels per day.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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Kenney in isolation after top minister catches COVID-19

Municipal Affairs minister tests positive

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is in quarantine after one of his top ministers caught COVID-19.

Municipal Affairs Minister Tracy Allard revealed Wednesday afternoon she had tested positive for the virus.

As one of her close contacts, Kenney is now isolating at home.

In a statement, Allard said she is suffering from mild symptoms of the virus.

The statement said Kenney is being tested for the virus at home.

Transportation Minister Ric McIver is also isolated and being tested after having come into contact with Allard.

UCP MLAs Angela Pitt, Peter Guthrie, and Nathan Neudorff are also entering self-isolation 

On Wednesday, the province confirmed 406 new infections bringing the numbers of active cases to 3,372. 

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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NDP prop up Trudeau’s Liberals in confidence vote

The NDP move means there will be no snap election

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NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has denied Prime Minister Justin Trudeau the election he seemed to want.

Singh said early Wednesday afternoon his party would not join the Tories and Bloc to bring down the minority government in a confidence vote over an attempt to set up an anti-corruption committee.

For several weeks the Liberals have been stalling as opposition members of the finance committee work to unveil details on the WE charity scandal that has seen revelations that Trudeau’s immediate family members have benefitted by being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars from the charity.

“We’re looking at options, but I want to make Canadians absolutely clear that we are not going to give the Prime Minister the election he’s looking for,” Singh said at a news conference prior to the vote.

The NDP and the Liberals defeated the motion by a vote of 180-146.

Tory leader Erin O’Toole blasted the Trudeau manoeuvres.

“Creating a committee has never in our history been grounds for a confidence vote,” said O’Toole.

“It’s Mr. Trudeau that is making it a confidence vote because Mr. Trudeau would prefer to try and go to an election rather than (answer) questions about insider spending scandals.”

The Green Party’s three MPs also voted against the Tory motion.

“Ahead of today’s vote on the Conservative motion to create a special committee, I would like to remind all Members of Parliament that people in Canada are counting on us to keep our eye on the ball and to focus on their needs,” Green Party leader Annamie Paul said in a statement.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Beer tanks theft leaves B.C. brew pub owner with bad taste in mouth

RCMP are investigating after two massive one-tonne fermenting tanks were stolen from outside a Port Coquitlam brewery under construction.

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Talk about a thirsty thieves!

RCMP are investigating after two massive one-tonne fermenting tanks were stolen from outside a Port Coquitlam brewery under construction.

The five-metre high tanks are valued at $20,000 each.

The owner of Boardwalk Brewing, Phil Saxe, said that the plan was to pour concrete for the floor this week, and begin brewing by December.

He noticed the tanks were missing when he showed up for work on Monday.

“It was pretty devastating, obviously,” Saxe told CBC.

He said a crane or specialized forklift would have to be used to steal the tanks.

Saxe said he’s offering a reward for any tips.

“If your neighbour looks like they’re building a brewery in their backyard and some new tanks showed up please let us know. These are worth way more to us than they are in scrap,” he said.

“This is the first that I’ve heard of fermenters being stolen — and something this large. There was a blue tarp that went with them, so I would imagine that would have been covering them on the way out,” said Const. Deanna Law to the CBC.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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