Canada's Maritime Provinces appear to be under siege by arsonists.
The latest in a wave of set fires took place over the November 3 weekend with an attempt to torch the worlds longest covered bridge in Hartland, NB, when arsonists burned several farm buildings. The damage to the bridge is said to be minor. "Outraged" townspeople are asking for tougher sentences for perpetrators. There is similar anger in Stanley, NB where arsonists set fire to two buildings on the fairgrounds, and in Lunenburg, NS which received "destructive arson attacks," in both areas during this year's Halloween celebrations.
The RCMP have set up a toll-free line to help their investigation into the Lunenburg fire that destroyed 250-year-Old St. John's Anglican Church, the second-oldest Anglican church in Canada. No arrests have been made.
In Hartland. a 33 year-old was charged with four counts of arson Monday and sent for a psychiatric assessment. Police say others may be charged.
Security was stepped up in the summer after arson destroyed another New Brunswick covered bridge.
The 1,283-foot Hartland Covered Bridge (WGN 55- 02-07) crosses the St. Johns River in seven spans.
[This report is based on a clipping from the Gazette, Montreal, Tuesday, November 6, 2001, forwarded by Gerald Arbour through Dick Roy, NSPCB. - Ed.]