Crash per­sonal for new tran­sit chair­man

Coun­cil­lor says fam­ily mem­ber hurt

Ottawa Sun - - NEWS - JON WILL­ING

The deadly West­boro sta­tion bus crash has im­pacted Al­lan Hub­ley on three levels: as the new tran­sit chair­man, as a Kanata coun­cil­lor and as some­one with a fam­ily mem­ber in hospi­tal.

Hub­ley said Satur­day a fam­ily mem­ber was a pas­sen­ger on the bus and was in crit­i­cal con­di­tion. He de­clined to go into fur­ther de­tail.

The Kanata South coun­cil­lor said he got word about the crash min­utes after it hap­pened Fri­day af­ter­noon.

The Route 269 bus was head­ing to the Bri­dle­wood com­mu­nity in his ward and there’s a good chance many of the pas­sen­gers are Kanata res­i­dents. After Tun­ney’s Pas­ture, the west­bound bus is sched­uled to stop at Bayshore and Moodie sta­tions be­fore stop­ping again at Ea­gle­son sta­tion in Kanata.

Hub­ley said he spent time in the com­mu­nity after the crash be­fore head­ing to city hall for Fri­day evening’s news con­fer­ence. He’s been in close con­tact with trans­porta­tion gen­eral man­ager John Man­coni.

A few fam­i­lies have con­tacted Hub­ley for as­sis­tance. He talked to a mother whose son was in the hospi­tal. A pas­sen­ger needed help get­ting her pos­ses­sions.

Hub­ley said he’s fo­cused on help­ing his con­stituents. There might be a com­mu­nity gath­er­ing, but it’s still too early to say, he said.

“It’s go­ing to be at least days un­til we get the ex­tent of who all the vic­tims are,” Hub­ley said.

He said Bar­rhaven Coun. Jan Harder con­tacted him shortly after the crash, since she was in a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion in 2013 when a dou­ble-decker bus col­lided with a Via Rail train in her com­mu­nity.

Six peo­ple died in that col­li­sion.

“She reached out to me right away,” Hub­ley said. “She’s walked this path. This whole thing has made it very fresh for her.”

It was only a month ago that council ap­pointed Hub­ley chair­man of the tran­sit com­mis­sion. Not only is his job to take care of res­i­dents’ con­cerns in Kanata South as their elected rep­re­sen­ta­tive, he’s also tasked with over­see­ing OC Transpo.

The first job for Transpo is to keep the tran­sit sys­tem run­ning and make sure em­ploy­ees have the re­sources they need, he said.

Hub­ley said it’s too early to say how the tran­sit com­mis­sion will han­dle the in­ves­ti­ga­tion or any fu­ture dis­cus­sion about dou­ble-deck­ers.

The city’s fo­cus is on help­ing the fam­i­lies of the dead and those who are in­jured, he said.

“We’ll be there for them,” he said, “what­ever they need.”

We’ll be there for them, what­ever they need.” Al­lan Hub­ley

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