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Stephanson vows to restore public trust in LRT

Wendy Stephanson was named the interim manager of the City of Ottawa after Steve Kanellakos announced his resignation two days before the release of the report.
2019-07-26 lrt ottawa o-train light rail MV3
O-Train sign outside of Tunney's Pasture Station. File photo

The City of Ottawa's interim's manager is promising to restore the public's faith at city hall one week after the scathing light rail transit (LRT) inquiry report was released. 

Justice William Hourigan released the highly anticipated 637-page final report of the Ottawa light rail transit (LRT) public inquiry on Nov. 30, which shows a magnitude of reasons why the people of Ottawa did not receive the reliable transit system they had hoped for. 

"I recognize that council and the public's trust has been eroded over the light rail for a number of years," said Wendy Stephanson during the Ottawa city council meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 7. "Today, I want to you (council and the public) that the city's senior leadership team is taking lessons from the inquiry to heart and are committed in taking the necessary actions to restore full confidence in the city's public service."

The report found that officials with the City of Ottawa and the Rideau Transit Group (RTG) lost sight of public interest during the project. 

The inquiry's report shows the City chose unproven technology for the LRT system which led to an adversarial relationship between City officials and members of RTG. 

Justice Hourigan's report revealed that the City rushed the LRT system before it was even ready, as well as RTG and its subcontractors not providing adequate maintenance on the city's LRT system. 

The report slams former city manager, Steve Kanellakos, who resigned two days before the report's release, accusing him of deliberately misleading Ottawa city council by not telling them that the testing of the trains had been restarted nor that the trial running standards were lowered to obtain a pass.

"We are actively looking at practical ways to enhance our processes and change any parts of the culture that lessen accountability and to take council's direction to show the public that the service is trustworthy and transparent as we move forward," added Stephanson. 






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