Investigations were continuing in an Edmonton suburb, local reports said, after a century-old church was destroyed by fire in what Alberta State Premier Jason Kenney said appeared to have been a “criminal act of hate-inspired violence”.
Fire crews arrived at the St Jean Baptiste Parish Church, in Morinville, north of Edmonton, in the early hours of June 30, the Edmonton Journal said.
Police were investigating whether the fire was deliberately set, the paper said.
The fire came in the same week at least six other Catholic churches across Canada were burned down, CBC said. Unlike those ones, however, St Jean Baptiste Parish Church was not on First Nation land.
The suspected arsons came in the wake of revelations of hundreds of unmarked graves at former residential schools for indigenous children, many of which were Catholic-run. Credit: Greg Tulloch via Storyful