ATU Canada, Kelowna ATU Local Believes More Should Have Been Done for Assaulted Kelowna Transit Operator


29 January 2021

KELOWNA - ATU Canada National President John Di Nino and ATU 1722 President Al Peressini are shocked by the announcement yesterday that a 23-year old Kelowna man was sentenced to only six months of house arrest, plus an added six months of an 8PM curfew for assaulting ATU Local 1722 member and transit operator, Peter Lansing who sustained lasting physical and psychological injuries due to the incident.  

In March 2019, after a verbal dispute, the Kelowna man, Chris Habberjam started to physically beat Lansing during an evening shift, dragging him out of his driver’s seat, eventually causing the bus to crash into a concrete barrier. Lansing has been off the job ever since. 

“This just isn’t enough of a deterrent especially when most of us are already forced to stay inside due to the COVID-19 pandemic”said Al Peressini, President of Kelowna ATU local 1722. “Lansing lost his career, income, relationships and has sustained multiple injuries both physical and psychological; drivers need more protection than this.”

The incident in March of 2019 occurred just two days before BC Transit announced physical shields would be put into place to protect drivers like Lansing. As a result of the lack of protection that face many drivers across the country, physical assaults on transit operators is more common than one might believe. 

“Across Canada, there are more than 2000 reported assaults on drivers every year.” said ATU Canada National President, John Di Nino. “Not only do they put our dedicated drivers at risk but transit riders too; more needs to be done so attacks like these cease taking place. 



For media inquiries:

Sam Hersh

[email protected]