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May 24-30, 1994

Gord and Judy tie the knot

Fifteen months after their extramarital affair touched off a scandal that forced them out of the B.C. Liberal Party, Gordon Wilson and Judy Tyabji tied the knot in a glitzy ceremony at Royal Roads military college near Victoria.

About 180 guests and dozens of reporters and photographers gathered at Hatley Castle to witness the marriage of Canada's most infamous political couple.

Ms. Tyabji, 29, wore a ivory-toned silk gown, while Mr. Wilson, 45, wore a black tuxedo with his trademark Oriental-style vest. The host of celebrity attendees included Saltspring Island folksinger Valdy, who performed his well-known composition Renaissance, the couple's wedding song.

Mr. Wilson, who led the B.C. Liberal Party from political obscurity to Official Opposition status in the 1991 election, was forced to call a leadership convention when his affair with Ms. Tyabji became public last February.

Ms. Tyabji was removed from her post as government House Leader amid allegations the appointment was influenced by her affair with Mr. Wilson.

Following Gordon Campbell's victory in last fall's leadership race, Mr. Wilson and Ms. Tyabji left the B.C. Liberals to form their own political party, the Progressive Democratic Alliance.

May 24-30, 1984

Faulty brakes blamed

in fatal school bus crash

A B.C. coroner's jury this week cited a "flagrant disregard for safety provisions" as the primary cause of a bus crash that claimed the lives of two Victoria-area high-school students in January.

During the 17-day inquest, the jury heard ConMac Stages Ltd. continued to use the 20-year-old bus for high-school trips despite inspections that revealed a cracked frame, poorly anchored seats, a broken speedometer and defects in the braking system.

Sixty-four students from Claremont High School were aboard the 45-seat bus when it plowed into a ditch after a brake failure on the way home from a ski trip to Mount Washington on Jan. 30.

Sixteen-year-old Scott Branson died at the scene, and 17-year-old Adam Kerr passed away a week later in hospital. Dozens of other students suffered serious injuries, including skull fractures and multiple broken bones.

The jury's 15-page verdict contained 26 major recommendations, including mandatory seatbelts, changes to school district policies for student outings, improvements to "inadequate" government safety inspections and stiffer penalties for companies that ignore safety standards.

The province's Motor Vehicle Branch ordered all seven of ConMac's buses out of service shortly after the crash.