Lac-Mégantic: a financial commitment from the federal called for the bypass

News 22 January, 2018
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    Maxime Huard

    Monday, 22 January 2018 20:16

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    OTTAWA | the approach of the five years of the tragedy train in Lac-Mégantic, the conservatives claim that Ottawa passes from words to actions by allocating in its budget for 2018 amounts for the bypass as expected in the municipality.

    “If the government really wants to advance the process of healing, it takes a financial commitment. [The Transport minister] Marc Garneau repeated for the two years that rail safety is their top priority, but it does not announce anything concrete in this folder”, complained the mp Luc Berthold in an interview Monday.

    On the ground, elected for Mégantic-L’érable said to be continually challenged on this topic by the Méganticois, since the derailment that have made the 47 victims in the heart of the city in July 2013. “Each time the train whistles, it is a reminder of the tragedy. The people are tanned from living in the uncertainty,” said Mr Berthold.

    The conservative government of Stephen Harper, which was in power until October 2015, had not committed to perform a bypass, but had agreed to finance a feasibility study on the issue.

    Cooperation, but no commitment

    The office of the minister Garneau said Monday that the federal government is working with the municipality and with the government of Quebec “to advance this important issue,” recalling that the feasibility study was still ongoing, without specifying a timeline.

    The office of the prime minister, who is on the move at the world economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, just Monday to reiterate the comments made by Justin Trudeau last week at its public meeting in Québec city.

    He had stated that the government “is working” on the record, and he hopes to have “things to announce very soon”.

    In pre-budget consultations, the ministry of Finance did not want to “speculate” on possible are reserved for the bypass in the next budget.

    On the benches of the opposition in Ottawa, the support to the bypass is unanimous, the New democratic Party and the Bloc québécois were both in favour of the project.

    Inaction criticized

    In an interview published Monday morning by the “Journal de Québec”, the mayor of Lac-Mégantic, Julie Morir, was asked to get out by July, in time for the first five years of the tragedy, the confirmation that a bypass would be put in place. “The project […] has been standing still, even if it is in the air since the accident”, she denounced.

    “What am I tanned a little, it is to see the provincial who throws the ball at the federal level, and the federal government that the spear at the provincial level,” said Ms. Morin. She has made contact with the two levels of government last Friday, following the acquittal of three employees responsible for the train at night and a fateful.

    The prime minister of Quebec, Philippe Couillard, has called the mayor on Saturday and the minister, Marc Garneau, spoke with her on Monday. “We had no commitment, but I felt a political will,” said the mayor in an interview Monday evening.

    The Quebec Transport ministry has not been able to meet the demands of the QMI Agency.