Humboldt Broncos families in Alberta are teaming up with the NDP and calling on the province to uphold highway safety standards put in place by the former government.
Several families who lost loved ones in the bus crash last year showed up at the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton Wednesday to implore the UCP government to cancel plans to exempt truck and bus drivers from the new regulations.
Sixteen people were killed and 13 seriously injured when Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, a new truck driver, ran a stop sign and hit the bus.
Opposition Leader Rachel Notley says the NDP government brought in highway safety measures to prevent another tragedy, adding it’s unconscionable for the new government to now roll those standards back.
Lethbridge’s Toby Boulet has also been a very vocal opponent of changes to the new regulations, saying it’s fundamentally wrong for the province to relax new training rules for semi-drivers in certain industries.
Boulet, who lost his son Logan in the bus crash, says the new rules were brought in by the former NDP government but they were also supported at that time by the UCP and he doesn’t understand why the issue is being reopened.
Alberta farmers are pushing the government to exempt the ag industry, claiming the new licensing standards are jeopardizing their finances and ability to attract and retain employees.
St. Albert NDP MLA Marie Renaud introduced a motion in the legislature Wednesday (Oct. 16) urging the UCP government to reverse Transportation Minister Ric McIver’s decision to exempt thousands of inexperienced truck and bus drivers from mandatory entry-level training.
It passed unanimously after the Broncos families listened to the debate.
McIver says he won’t make any promises or an announcements right away, but that the province will look closer at the situation.
(With file from CP)