Brampton transit operator dies after contracting COVID-19

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Dael Muttly Jaecques was a Brampton Transit operator for 18 years. (Submitted by Bill Pettersen - image credit)
Dael Muttly Jaecques was a Brampton Transit operator for 18 years. (Submitted by Bill Pettersen - image credit)

A driver for Brampton Transit has died after contracting COVID-19.

ATU Canada, the union that represents Brampton Transit drivers, announced Friday that Dael Muttly Jaecques had died.

Francesco Vani, executive president of the Brampton union local, told CBC News this is a "very difficult time.

"We've lost one of our brothers," he said.

Vani said Jaecques was an exceptionally friendly, helpful and outgoing person, who leaves behind a wife and daughter.

Jaecques was "an integral part of the union," and served as vice president for four years, he said.

Jaecques had been driving on Brampton Transit's 502 line, Vani said, which intersects with the 511 line.

Peel Public Health said earlier this month that it was investigating a number of COVID-19 cases among Brampton Transit employees, primarily on Route 511, which runs along Steeles Avenue East.

Vani said the 511 line had to be shut down last week. The city and Brampton Transit have implemented proper pandemic safety protocols for workers, he said, but more needs to be done when it comes to enforcement for riders.

There just isn't enough bylaw or security enforcement to keep up with the volume of passengers, he said.

"Apart from the bylaw enforcement from passengers, everything else has been adequate. The bylaw enforcement for passengers, however, has lacked any sort of urgency."