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Edmund Aunger and Elizabeth Sovis

Riding for a safer Trans Canada Trail

Edmund A. Aunger honours wife's memory with Ride the Trail for Elizabeth

Laurier alumnus Edmund A. Aunger (BA '70) is honouring his wife's memory and vision with a ride along the Trans Canada Trail from Victoria to Charlottetown, a journey he's dubbed "Ride the Trail for Elizabeth."

The 12,500-km ride, which Aunger is completing in in five stages through July 2017, is designed to promote the completion of a Trans Canada Trail that is accessible, passable and safe, something Aunger says isn't presently the case.

In 2012, Aunger's wife, Elizabeth Sovis, was struck and killed by a motor vehicle minutes after leaving the Trans Canada Trail while cycling on Prince Edward Island. Sovis cycled the Trans Canada Trail each summer, but was dismayed that many impassable and incomplete sections made it necessary to travel on dangerous roads and highways.

She had planned to retire from her work as a speech-language pathologist in July 2013 in order to promote the development of safe cycling trails in Canada.

“She wanted to see a Trans Canada Trail that was a true greenway, not a motorized roadway,” Aunger says. “She complained bitterly that the existing trail was not only incomplete, it was often inaccessible and unsafe. And she was right."

Initiated in 1992, the Trans Canada Trail was planned as a 25-year project slated for completion by July 1, 2017, to mark Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations.

Aunger pedalled into Waterloo as part of Ride the Trail for Elizabeth in August. While a student at Laurier he was active in university governance, chairing a president's committee on university planning that created a 10-year building program. He also served as a vice president of the students council and was a sessional instructor in political science. He is now a professor emeritus of political science at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

For information about Ride the Trail for Elizabeth and a fund established in Sovis' memory visit