FILE – Toby Boulet makes a closing remark at a funeral for his son, Humboldt Broncos’ Logan Boulet at the Nicholas Sheran Arena in Lethbridge, Alta. on Saturday, April 14, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Rossiter

FILE – Toby Boulet makes a closing remark at a funeral for his son, Humboldt Broncos’ Logan Boulet at the Nicholas Sheran Arena in Lethbridge, Alta. on Saturday, April 14, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Rossiter

Father of Humboldt crash victim worried by speed limit proposal, delay in organ donor bill

Toby Boulet said he’s most concerned about rural roads as they come up to a highway

A father whose son’s organs helped others after he died in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash says he’s disturbed a private member’s bill to increase speed limits on major Alberta highways is moving ahead of one to improve organ donations.

Toby Boulet sent an email this week to United Conservative MLA RJ Sigurdson saying he’s concerned the politician’s private member’s bill on organ and tissue donation isn’t being considered this spring.

“This is disturbing news to say the least as now more lives will be lost,” Boulet said in the email, which he shared with The Canadian Press.

Sigurdson, who represents Highwood in southern Alberta, said his bill didn’t get chosen to be put forward in the current legislature sitting.

“It’s kind of the luck of the draw,” Sigurdson said in an interview Wednesday.

He said he is motivated to get the bill before the legislature because his father suffered from kidney disease. He’s also heard from others in his constituency.

“I’m not sure there is anything that would have more of an impact for Albertans than setting the culture for organ donation,” said Sigurdson.

He said Alberta falls behind the national average when it comes to organ donation — a point that experts have also noted.

“We’ve never really followed through with intentions to put resources and plans into the whole area of organ donation,” Dr. Norman Kneteman, a transplant surgeon at University of Alberta Hospital, said in a recent interview.

Sigurdson said his bill, which is still being drafted, will aim to improve donations by bringing in a better way to register, establishing specialty teams and providing real-time information on donors.

Boulet said in an interview that he’s disturbed that politicians are instead moving forward with a private member’s bill to increase speed limits to 120 km/h from 110 km/h on divided highways.

That bill was introduced on March 10 by Spruce Grove-Stony Plain MLA Searle Turton, who said it would improve commutes and maintain safety by allowing drivers to use speeds highways were engineered for.

Boulet said all it would do is allow people to go faster.

“And with side roads coming on to the highway, it just makes it harder for people to judge the speeds coming at you.”

Boulet said he’s most concerned about rural roads that only have stop signs or flashing lights as they come up to a highway — similar to the intersection where his son, Logan, was killed in Saskatchewan.

Sixteen people died and 13 were injured three years ago when a transport truck driver failed to stop at a sign and pulled out in front of the junior hockey team’s bus.

Six people across Canada benefited from Logan’s organs and nearly 147,000 Canadians registered to be donors in the two months after learning the player had signed his card.

His father said he had hoped Sigurdson’s bill would be tabled this spring.

“It’s not going to happen for a long, long time,” said Boulet.

“Now we have a bill that’s being developed … to save lives with more transplants, and at the same time we have a diametrically opposed bill that in my mind, and in the mind of many highway safety experts, is going to cause deaths.”

Experts said some of Alberta’s divided highways can handle higher speeds, but noted most drivers already tend to go faster than the posted speed limit.

“If it’s not combined with enforcement at 120 (km/h), it’s going to lead to more collisions,” said Don Voaklander, director of the Injury Prevention Centre at the University of Alberta.

“If people are travelling 130 (km/h), there are some pretty well-defined statistics on this: you are going to raise the number of fatal crashes by about 35 per cent.”

Voaklander said Boulet’s concerns are valid.

“Intersections that come on to a major highway can be a problem,” he said.

“If you are coming to one of those stop signs and it’s a major divided highway, it takes a lot of thought to look at the four lanes, what’s coming toward me, what’s coming on the other side.”

READ MORE: ‘Strength in being vulnerable:’ Broncos bus crash survivor tells his story in book

Colette Derworiz, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

HumboldtHumboldt Broncos

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Latoria South section of the Royal Bay development in Colwood could include a new long-term care facility. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood’s Royal Bay could be home to new long-term care facilities

Capital Regional Hospital District board approves $8M land purchase for purpose

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply as overdose emergency turns 5

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

(Black Press Media file photo)
Youth gets combative with police at Victoria hospital

VicPD officer injured, youth kept in care under Mental Health Act

A man with a history of sexual offences was arrested after he followed and aggressively tried to talk to two young woman on the weekend. Black Press File Photo
Man convicted of sexual offences arrested after teens followed in Victoria

Women hid in a Quadra Village convenience store as man aggressively tried to get in

A few dozen students and parents gathered outside Lansdowne Middle School April 14 to protest proposed budget cuts to SD61 music programs. From left to right: Lyra Gaudin, Cleo Bateman, Abby Farish, Brigitte Peters, Enid Gaudin, Des Farish. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
SD61’s proposed $7 million cuts threaten equity and inclusion, say parents, teachers

Music classes, inclusion services, reading programs on the line

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you have a plan in place in the event of a tsunami?

Tsunamis have claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people between 1998… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

One of the grand prizes for this year's Hometown Heroes Lottery includes a seaside home at SookePoint, $1.5 million, and an Audi Quattro. (Photo courtesy of Hometown Heroes)
Hometown Heroes Lottery features seaside home in Sooke

A stunning seaside home in Sooke could be yours for the price… Continue reading

City workers from Duncan were busy recently putting up street signs in both Hul’q’umi’num’ and English. (Submitted photo)
Hul’q’umi’num street signs installed in downtown Duncan

Partnership with Cowichan Tribes sees English street names twinned with Indigenous language

Homicide investigators who asked not to be identified put up signs Wednesday, April 14, along the Nanaimo Parkway in the area where a body was found March 31. RCMP are asking for witnesses or dash cam footage as the suspicious death has now been ruled a homicide. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Suspicious death along the highway in Nanaimo now being investigated as a homicide

RCMP identify victim as Randell Charles Thomas, repeat call for any information related to the case

Most Read