With public trust low, Ottawa works to select another third-party firm for safety review of Confederation Line

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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A commission wants to have 40 people testify on service disruptions and derailments on Ottawa’s Confederation Line.
Christof Spieler

Apparently, people believe STV is just too close with Ottawa’s Confederation Line.

The firm was chosen to provide an independent safety review of the light-rail system, which has been shut down after two derailments over a six-week span. STV, however, was involved in the original construction of the Confederation Line, and after public pressure Ottawa City Manager Steve Kanellakos announced on Sept. 28 a different third party would be chosen.

“While the objectivity and expertise of STV is not in question in any way, I also recognize that public trust related to all aspects of the Confederation Line 1 is low right now,” Kanellakos said in a statement. “I do not want any perception challenges to get in the way of residents’ confidence in the findings and verification of the independent reviewer.”

The latest derailment happened on Sept. 19 close to Tremblay Station. No injuries were reported but there was damage to the track and rail infrastructure.

The city is now looking for another independent firm to conduct the safety check. However, Kanellakos claimed the pool of firms is rather shallow because so many were involved in the Confederation Line project.

The line will remain closed until a safety review is complete.

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