The three ex-employees back in front of the courts

News 22 January, 2018
  • Catherine Montambeault

    Sunday, 21 January, 2018 23:10

    Sunday, 21 January, 2018 23:10

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    Tom Harding, Jean Demaître and Richard Labrie were still not finished with the justice and will already be back in court in two weeks.

    After three months of trial, the three ex-employees of the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway were acquitted Friday of charges of criminal negligence that weighed on them from the explosion of a train killing 47 people in the town centre of Lac-Mégantic in 2013.

    They are, however, expected to the courthouse in Lac-Mégantic on 5 February, this time to face criminal charges brought by the federal government.

    The train conductor Tom Harding, and the former director of transportation John Demaître are charged under the railway safety Act.

    “These are accusations which are aimed at the number of hand brakes that were applied and how to secure the train,” says the lawyer for Mr. Harding, Me Thomas Walsh.

    “These two things were also the subject of a criminal proceeding, but the difference is that it was alleged that by failing to follow the rules to secure the train, the accused had been criminally negligent,” he adds. It, it’s over since Friday. “

    Guilty plea

    The lawyer said that her client account to plead guilty to these charges, which could earn him up to six months imprisonment or a fine of up to $50,000.

    “We have always admitted that Mr. Harding had not followed all the rules to the letter to secure the train, and that is why we are going to deal with [our responsibilities] and enter a plea of guilty “, says he.

    A charge has also been filed against Tom Harding, Jean Demaître and the ex-controller’s railway Richard Labrie under the fisheries Act of Canada.

    “This is because the landfill has contaminated the Lac-Mégantic, explain to Me Walsh. But I don’t think this charge will stay on. “

    The other defendants are the company Montreal, Maine & Atlantic (MMA) Canada, MMA Railway Limited, Robert Grindrod, president of MMA, Lynne Labonté, director-general of transport, Kenneth Strout, director of operating practices, and Mike Horan, director of the MMA in Canada.

    The MMA could be hurt by a fine of up to one million dollars if convicted.

    Moreover, the record of the railway company will return to the criminal of the superior Court in Sherbrooke on April 3, next.

    A class action was also filed against Tom Harding, the MMA and the Canadian Pacific.