July 21, 2024

Police say witnesses reported a silver sedan driving away from the church on the time of the fireplace.

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Wooden Buffalo RCMP are investigating the destruction of one of many Catholic church buildings in Janvier on Friday. Janvier is roughly 120 kilometres south of Fort McMurray.

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Police say that at 10:30 p.m. on Dec. 15, officers arriving on the scene discovered the church fully engulfed in flames. Police say witnesses reported a silver sedan driving away from the church on the time of the fireplace.

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Bishop Gary Franken of the diocese of St. Paul, which incorporates Janvier, confirmed in a Saturday night e mail that the constructing was the neighborhood’s older Catholic church. The church is adjoining to a more moderen constructing, St. Gabriel Catholic Church, which was unhurt. No accidents had been reported.

Councillor Shane Janvier of the Chipewyan Prairie Dene First Nation condemned the destruction in a video he posted to his Fb account. The reason for the fireplace remains to be being investigated, however Janvier mentioned early indications level to arson.

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“The importance of this previous church in the neighborhood—a number of celebrations at this church over time, a number of weddings, a number of baptisms, this can be a place the place we’ve come to say our final respects to our family members and our ancestors… sufficient’s sufficient. We’ve gotta begin looking for each other as a neighborhood,” mentioned Janvier.

“If we’re going to make statements that that is our land and we’re going to battle for this land, then we rattling nicely higher study to respect our land. That’s not respecting our neighborhood.”

That is the second church destroyed within the Fort McMurray Wooden Buffalo area in recent times. Fort Chipewyan’s Catholic church was destroyed in Aug. 2022. Two males have been charged with arson and are scheduled to start trial in April.

The Fort Chipewyan residence that housed monks and nuns was additionally destroyed in a fireplace on Oct. 30. No fees have been issued associated to that fireside. That constructing had been deserted for many years.

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