Yellowknife sentencing hearing delayed for Ice Road Truckers star convicted of arson

A sentencing hearing in Yellowknife for a star from the reality TV series Ice Road Truckers has been delayed.

Arthur Burke, 65, pleaded guilty last month to the rare charge of arson by negligence for accidentally causing an explosion at a downtown Yellowknife apartment in November of 2018.

CKLB initially chose not to use his name but because of the notoriety the case has received, we are now naming him.

Burke admitted he caused the explosion at a North Slave Housing Corporation building on 54 St. when he tried to add butane to legally bought marijuana in an effort to make shatter – a hashish-like substance.

The butane exploded blowing the door right off the bathroom where Burke was trying to make the shatter.

He was badly burned and had to spend 12 days being treated at Stanton Hospital.

The explosion caused about $70 thousand damage to the apartment building and forced the relocation of several tenants to a Yellowknife hotel while repairs were made.

The incident was never reported to the public by RCMP

Burke’s lawyer recommended house arrest last month but because Burke was living in his tractor trailer cab at that time, the judge refused to sentence him to house arrest.

He was staying in his big rig at a Kam Lake compound last month while he was delivering loads on the ice road to the diamond mines.

His lawyer told the judge Wednesday that Burke has now moved back to his home in Prince Edward Island.

His sentencing hearing was to have begun on March 27 but has been postponed.

Now, the Crown prosecutor, the defence and the judge will get together on July 7 to decide whether Burke can appear by phone or video for his sentencing.

Although coronavirus was not mentioned specifically, it was inferred that it would be best if Burke did not fly back to Yellowknife for the sentencing.

A sentencing date is expected to be set on July 7.

About the Author

John McFadden
John has been in the broadcast journalism industry since the 1980s. He has been a reporter in Yellowknife since 2012 and joined CKLB in January of 2018. John covers the crime and court beat as well as reporting on other areas including politics, business, entertainment and sports. He won seven national community newspaper awards while he was a journalist with Northern News Services Limited (NNSL). John worked in Ontario before coming North including stints as a TV sportscaster in Peterborough and senior news writer for CBC and CTV in downtown Toronto.