Week two begins at Ottawa’s light rail transit public inquiry

The public inquiry looking into Ottawa’s light rail transit system will hear from the company that delivered the onboard computer system for the trains today, as week two of testimony begins at the University of Ottawa.

The inquiry, led by Justice William Hourigan, is investigating the commercial and technical circumstances that led to breakdowns and derailments during Stage 1 of the LRT system. A final report is due by the end of August, but an extension may be granted by the Ontario government.

Today’s scheduled witnesses include Michael Burns of Thales Canada, which is a global provider of Communications Based Train Control technology.

Thales participated in the design and integration of its SelTrac communication based train control system with the light rail vehicles used in Stage1 of the project, and has entered into a maintenance contract with Rideau Transit Maintenance.

Thales provided the commission with more than 15,000 documents to assist the inquiry looking into the LRT system.

The other witness scheduled to testify today is Remo Bucci of Deloitte.

During the first week of testimony, the inquiry heard about pressure from council to speed up construction before the contract was awarded, the budget for the $2.1 billion project and the fact it didn’t account for inflationary costs, and how the Rideau Street sinkhole impacted construction and dug a hole in the relationship between Rideau Transit Group and the city.

The inquiry is holding 18 days of hearings at the University of Ottawa.

Here is a look at the other witnesses scheduled to testify at the public inquiry this week.


  • Lowell Goudge (Alstom Transport Canada Inc.) – Morning
  • Jacques Bergeron (OLRT Constructors) – Afternoon


  • Bertrand Bouteloup (Alstom Transport Canada Inc.) – Morning
  • Parsons/Delcan Panel – Thomas Fodor, Mike Palmer, Jonathan Hulse – Afternoon


  • Richard Holder (City of Ottawa) – Morning
  • Monica Sechiari (Altus Group/IC) – Afternoon


  • Matthew Slade (OLRT Constructors/Rideau Transit Maintenance) – Morning
  • Yang Liu (Alstom Transport Canada Inc.) – Afternoon

Mayor Jim Watson, former OC Transpo general manager John Manconi, former Rideau Transit Group CEO Peter Lauch, the city’s Director of Rail Michael Morgan and Brian Guest of Boxfish are scheduled to testify the week of June 27 to June 30.

You can watch the hearings and read the documents on the Ottawa Light Rail Transit public inquiry website.

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