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How and when was the public inquiry established?

The public inquiry was established on December 16, 2021, to investigate the circumstances in the procurement, delivery and operations of Stage 1 of the Ottawa Light Rail Transit system that led to issues that have had a negative impact on the people of Ottawa including breakdowns and derailments leading to a systemwide temporary shutdown and raised concerns from the public about the safety of the system.


What is the purpose of this Commission?

There have been breakdowns and derailments on Stage 1 of the Ottawa Light Rail Transit system (OLRT1). The provincial inquiry is looking into the commercial and technical circumstances that led to these issues. The Commission will also make recommendations to help prevent these issues from happening again for this project and future infrastructure projects in Ontario.


What is the timeline for the Commission’s inquiry?

The Ottawa Light Rail Transit Commission is investigating the commercial and technical circumstances that led to issues with Stage 1 of the Ottawa Light Rail Transit system.

The Commissioner had released his decision in early March 2022 on who will be participating in the Commission’s public hearings. Read the Order on Applications for Standing and Funding here.

The Commission held public hearings in Ottawa from June 13, 2022, to July 7, 2022, at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law – Common Law Section, in its Ian G. Scott Courtroom. Recordings of hearings, exhibits and transcripts are posted on the Commission’s website.

Participants had until August 12, 2022, to submit written closing submissions to the Ottawa Light Rail Transit Commission.

In addition, the Commission held two public meetings on May 25 and 26, 2022, at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., where members of the public had the opportunity to share their views and make statements. The meetings were recorded and can be watched here.

The Commission also held a panel discussion on public-private partnerships (P3s) on July 28, 2022. from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. It was livestreamed with English and French simultaneous interpretation and closed captioning on the Commission’s website and broadcast on Rogers TV, Channels 22 in English and 23 in French. The transcript and recording are available on the website.

The Commissioner will deliver a final report to the Minister of Transportation containing his findings, conclusions and any recommendations by November 30, 2022.

Following the public hearings, the Commission asked the Minister of Transportation, Caroline Mulroney, for an extension to deliver its final report after August 31, 2022, as permitted under the Commission’s mandate. The Commission received the authorization to deliver the report by no later than November 30, 2022.

The Commission updates the website regularly to keep the public informed on the latest developments on the Commission’s investigation, including the next steps in the inquiry process.

Anyone can contact the Commission at info@OLRTPublicInquiry.ca or by calling 1-833-597-1955 if they have any general enquiries or to submit information that will serve the investigation.



Why is the Commission calling for participation from the general public?

As Stage 1 of the Ottawa Light Rail Transit system project impacts many in the City of Ottawa, the Commission values the public’s input and encourages them to get involved in the process.

Members of the public had the opportunity to share their views and make statements during public meetings that were held on May 25 and 26, 2022, at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The meetings were recorded and can be watched in their entirety here.

Anyone can contact the Commission at info@OLRTPublicInquiry.ca or by calling 1-833-597-1955 if they have any general enquiries or to submit information that will serve the investigation



Who participated in the public hearings?

The Commissioner released his decision on who will be participating in the Commission’s public hearings in early March 2022. Read the Order on Applications for Standing and Funding

The transcripts of over 90 examinations conducted by the Commission before the hearings, the schedule for the public hearings as well as the recordings, exhibits and transcripts are available on the Commission’s website.

The Commission will continue to regularly update its website to keep the public and media informed on the latest developments in the inquiry, including next steps in the process.



Why were witnesses allowed to testify remotely?

Witnesses were allowed to testify remotely to increase the efficiency of the Commission’s public hearings.


Why did the Commission hold an Expert Panel discussion on public-private partnerships?

The Commission has a mandate to investigate the commercial and technical circumstances that led to the breakdowns and derailments of the Ottawa Light Rail Transit Project – Stage I. The project was delivered as a public-private partnership (P3) and the Expert Panel was convened to inform the Commissioner’s recommendations. The expert panel did not provide an opinion or draw conclusions regarding the specific facts of the Ottawa Light Rail Transit Project.


What experts participated in the Expert Panel discussion?

The participating experts were:

  • Bent Flyvbjerg
  • Matti Siemiatycki
  • Anne Stafford

Biographies on the experts are available here.


How many people were in attendance at the public meetings?

The Commission thanks the over 70 members of the public who attended onsite and the 12 members of the press who also were in attendance, as well as the nearly 1,000 people who watched the livestream and the thousands of people who watched on television on Rogers TV (English and French channels). The Commission is grateful for all the speakers who talked during these meetings, onsite, by video or by calling. All these testimonies and opinions will help the Commission to continue its investigation.



What is the responsibility of the Commissioner?

As Commissioner, Justice Hourigan has a mandate to investigate the questions posed in the Terms of Reference, including the procurement, delivery and operations of Stage 1 of the Ottawa Light Rail Transit system (OLRT1). He will also be responsible for delivering a report of the Commission’s findings, including recommendations to help prevent the issues identified from happening again.


When will the Commission be required to deliver its final report and recommendations?

Following the public hearings held in Ottawa from June 13 to July 7, 2022, the Commission asked the Minister of Transportation, Caroline Mulroney, for an extension to deliver its final report after August 31, 2022, as permitted under the Commission’s mandate. The Commission received the authorization to deliver the report by no later than November 30, 2022.


What does Stage 1 of the Ottawa Light Rail Transit (OLRT1) system include?

Stage 1 of the Ottawa Light Rail Transit system includes the following features:

  • A 12.5-kilometre line along the existing Bus Route System (BRT) corridor from Blair Road in the east to Tunney's Pasture in the west;
  • A tunnel through the downtown core; and
  • 13 stations, including three underground stations.


What is an Order in Council?

An Order in Council (OIC) is a government order recommended by the Executive Council and signed by the Lieutenant Governor.

While they have a wide variety of uses, OICs are most frequently used to:

  • set up agencies, boards or commissions;
  • appoint people to agencies, boards or commissions and set their salaries;
  • bring laws (or parts of laws) into effect;
  • appoint provincial judges and certain senior public servants;
  • create advisory bodies and appoint special advisors; and
  • assign legal responsibilities to government ministers.

OICs can be new or they can amend or cancel previous OICs. They must be approved by the Executive Council (the Premier and Cabinet Ministers) and are not legal until they are signed by the Lieutenant Governor.