Ontario government appoints head of Ottawa LRT inquiry, report due in August

The Ontario government said Friday it has appointed a commissioner to lead the public inquiry into Ottawa’s turbulent light-rail system, with a final report due in August 2022.

Justice William Hourigan will lead the probe that was first announced in November amid public outcries for accountability after two derailments on the Confederation Line LRT in August and September.

Read more: City of Ottawa taking dispute over recent LRT derailments to court

The public inquiry will look into the procurement, delivery and operations of the system’s first stage.

Hourigan’s report will also include recommendations to improve the safety of the line.

“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,” Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney said in a statement Friday.

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“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.”

Read more: Ottawa LRT inquiry to examine safety, tech, value and accountability, transportation minister says

Hourigan previously served as a judge at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and was elevated to the Court of Appeal in 2013. He has a specialty in complex commercial litigation over a 25-year career in the law and public service, according to the Ontario government.

The province committed $600 million to Stage 1 of LRT in Ottawa and an additional $1.2 billion to the second stage, currently under construction.

Ottawa city councillors are meeting at a special finance and economic development committee meeting on Friday to receive an update on Stage 2 construction, which was previously reported to be facing possible delays.

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No sinkholes expected on second stage LRT tunnel, Ottawa mayor says – Sep 25, 2020

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