Search for independent LRT safety examiner resumes as STV dropped over 'appearances'

Derailment of LRT train near Tremblay Station.

Engineering firm STV will not conduct the independent third-party safety review of Ottawa’s LRT return to service, city manager Steve Kanellakos said in a memo Tuesday.

The selection of the firm last week had brought criticism that STV had been involved in pre-launch work on the rail system.

“STV has familiarity with the Confederation Line 1 and has provided consulting services to the City in the past,” Kanellakos writes.

“They were not involved in the design of the Confederation Line and have not provided services to Rideau Transit Group,” he wrote.

However, Kanellakos said: “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, and I do not want any perception challenges to get in the way of residents’ confidence in the findings and verification of the independent reviewer.”

In light of the concerns, Kanellakos writes that he decided not to retain STV as the independent safety expert.

The manager said STV was advised on Monday and agreed with the decision.

Kanellakos said the search was resumed for an independent examiner.

He said their are “very few firms with the necessary expertise that have not” already been involved in LRT work, “however, best efforts will be made to find
a firm that meets the spirit of the Transit Commissions’ direction to staff.”

There was no timetable on when the new examiners would be named.

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