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

Just Posted

First responders on scene at Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh School south of Nanaimo on Thursday afternoon. (Karl Yu/The News Bulletin)
One child airlifted after quad accident at Nanaimo district school

First responders called to Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh School at around 3:30 p.m.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

B.C. Centre for Disease Control reports 65 new cases in Oceanside health area April 4-10

A nearly four-hour standoff at an apartment complex on Cowichan Lake Road in Duncan ended peacefully on Wednesday, April 14. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Officers surround building as homeowner held in apartment for nearly four hours by adult son

Pacific Institution in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media file photo)
Inmate with ties to Victoria dies in Abbotsford institution

Brodie Bingley, who was sentenced for aggravated assault in Maple Ridge died April 13

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The Baynes Sound Connector leaves Denman Island en route to Buckley Bay. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Baynes Sound Connector undergoing upgrades

The MV Quinitsa is providing service between Buckley Bay and Denman Island

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Quatse, the abandoned sea otter pup who was rescued in Port Hardy. (Marine Mammal Rescue Centre photo)
Quatse the sea otter pup continues to recover in treatment

Quatse’s last “pupdate” was on March 31, where it was noted she is “doing well and gaining weight.”

Hwy. 4 was shut down in both directions for 10 hours on March 23 as a rock bluff was blasted as part of Kennedy Hill’s ongoing construction. Commuters can expect five more 10 hour closures on five consecutive Wednesdays beginning April 28. (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Five 10-hour Pacific Rim highway closures planned in the next 6 weeks

Closures needed for rock blasting as part of the Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement project.

Most Read