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Bomb scare empties Winnipeg buildings, streets

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 28, 2007 | 2:33 PM CT

Several streets around the Workers Compensation Board building in downtown Winnipeg were closed for several hours early Wednesday afternoon after a large truck was driven onto the steps of the building.

Three office buildings were evacuated and several blocks around Broadway Avenue and Edmonton Street were closed after a large white four-wheel-drive truck crossed the sidewalk and mounted the stairs up to the door of 333 Broadway over the noon hour.

Several police units, including the bomb unit, were on the scene.

Just before 4 p.m. the streets were reopened to traffic, although the truck remained on the steps of the building. Workers were also allowed to return to their offices.

A man was taken into police custody at the scene.

CBC reporter Sheila North-Wilson spoke to the man moments before he was put into a police cruiser. He expressed exasperation over issues related to the Workers Compensation Board and CN Rail.

"[An] individual was seen sitting in his vehicle, holding on to something that officers felt was very suspicious at the time," said Winnipeg Police Sgt. Kelly Dennison, adding that there had been an "indication that there may be some sort of detonating device or some sort of bomb" attached to the vehicle.

Dennison said he does not know anything about the suspect. No charges have yet been laid.

Tax building affected by closure

One of the buildings evacuated was the Canada Revenue Agency, next door to the WCB building. The closure could cause problems for some employers, since Feb. 28 is the deadline for businesses to file their T4 slips.

CRA spokeswoman Emilia Kotris said the deadline will not be extended.

She noted the CRA has a mail slot on the Hargrave Streetside of the building, where tax documents can be dropped off 24 hours a day.

If a company is unable to file the slips by midnight due to circumstances beyond their control, the agency has a "fairness provision" that allows those situations to be reviewed, Kotris said.

(Note: The CIWS does not condone or encourage violence but we report incidents that may involve injured workers in order to expose the level of frustration and desperation many injured workers reportedly feel about the WCB system.)

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