Ontario establishes commission to look into Ottawa LRT challenges

Dec. 20, 2021
Justice William Hourigan will lead the commission evaluating the procurement, delivery and operations of the line, as well as oversee publication of recommendations from the inquiry.

The September 2019 opening of Ottawa, Ontario’s Confederation Line (Line 1) was supposed provide the city with better connections. However, the past two years have brought a series of incidents ranging from delays in service to maintenance issues and two derailments in a six-week window that have compounded into a range of concerns about the line that have resulted in provincial government launching an inquiry into these challenges.

“The challenges plaguing Stage 1 of the Ottawa LRT are unacceptable and disappointing. This public inquiry is a prudent approach to uncovering the cause of these issues and preventing them from happening again,” said Ontario Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney.

The provincial inquiry will investigate the commercial and technical circumstances that led to the breakdown and derailment with Stage 1 of the Ottawa Light Rail Transit (LRT) project. The province has tasked the Ottawa Light Rail Transit Commission with investigating why these issues happened, what led to the breakdown and derailment and provide recommendations by August 2022 to help prevent them from happening again.

The commission will be led by Justice William Hourigan, a former Chair of the Litigation Department at Fasken Martineau with more than 25 years of experience in law and public service. He served as a judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice before being named to the Court of Appeal for Ontario in 2013.

“Establishing the scope of the inquiry and appointing Justice Hourigan is an important step towards the safe implementation of the project, accountability and value for taxpayer dollars,” added Minister Mulroney.

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March 19, 2012