Consortium execs close out final day of testimony at LRT inquiry

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OC Transpo says additional crews and equipment were sent to a section of track between Lees and uOttawa stations to re-string overhead powerlines on the LRT. (Francis Ferland/CBC - image credit)

After more than three weeks of testimony and more than three dozen witnesses, the public inquiry into Ottawa's light rail misadventure is set to wrap up today.

Over the past 17 days, the inquiry's lawyers have put tough questions to several high-profile witnesses — including Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, former transportation general manager John Manconi and "super consultant" Brian Guest — about their actions in the weeks and months leading up to the launch of the $2.1-billion Confederation Line.

The line has dealt with a litany of problems since public rail service kicked off in September 2019, including a pair of derailments last summer.

The inquiry has focused sharply on the 12-day test run ahead of the line's official launch, including the fact the criteria for what was deemed a successful run was lowered in the middle of it.

There have also been pointed questions about a private WhatsApp group in which officials discussed the line's problems.

On Thursday, day 18, the inquiry is set to hear from its last pair of witnesses, both high-ranking executives with the consortium that designed the line.

The morning's testimony will feature Mario Guerra, CEO of Rideau Transit Maintenance, the maintenance arm of Confederation Line builder Rideau Transit Group (RTG).

He'll be followed in the afternoon by Nicolas Truchon, the CEO of RTG.

Friday had been set aside as an extra day in case testimony was running behind, but the inquiry has said it won't be needed.

The final report is set to be in the hands of Ontario Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney by the end of August.

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