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

Cowichan Valley Capitals defenceman Logan Rands pokes the puck away from Alberni Valley Bulldogs forward Talon Duff. (Elena Rardon/Black Press Media)
Offence sags as Cowichan Capitals reach midway mark

Caps score one goal in three games as pod season continues

BCYP Minister for the Southern Interior, Aislinn Dressler of Fernie said the Youth Parliament being virtual was a great way to learn about how the BC Parliament was operating. (Photo contributed by Aislinn Dressler)
Applications open for Islands Youth Parliament

Applications must be received by April 23

Someone used this counterfeit $50 to pay for items at the Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store in downtown Duncan in April 2021. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Duncan businesses warned of counterfeit cash

Fake $50 passed at Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store

Martin Drakeley, North Cowichan’s manager of fire and bylaw services, says the municipality’s fire halls have responded to more fires than usual this spring. (File photo)
Dry weather, wind leads to more brushfires this spring in North Cowichan

‘Be safe. Be fire smart. Be situationally aware.’

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

A teacher-librarian in Nanaimo was fired in 2019 for checking out an age-inappropriate graphic novel to a student. The discipline agreement was published Wednesday, April 21. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo teacher-librarian fired for checking out too-graphic graphic novel to student

Teacher had been previously disciplined and suspended on two occasions

Aria Pendak Jefferson cuddles ChiChi, the family cat that ran away two years ago in Ucluelet. The feline was missing until Courtney Johnson and Barry Edge discovered her in the parking lot of the Canadian Princess earlier this month. Aria and her parents were reunited with ChiChi in a parking lot in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
An Island girl’s wish is answered as her cat came back

Courtenay family reunited with cat that went missing in Ucluelet in 2019

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Vancouver Island Connector and Tofino Bus is putting a 41-passenger electric bus through its paces in a three-month trial run between Nanaimo and Victoria. (Photo submitted)
Electric bus on trial run serving Victoria-to-Nanaimo route

Vancouver Island Connector and Tofino Bus trying out 41-seat electric coach for three months

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

Most Read