PM Trudeau discusses rail safety in Lac-Mégantic during a town hall in Sherbrooke, Quebec
ROBERT BELLEFLEUR (Lac-Mégantic): Good evening. Robert Bellefleur, Lac-Mégantic. Good evening, Prime Minister. I want to talk about the bypass. People are well aware that Canada is a very sympathetic, very empathetic country when it comes to humanitarian causes around the world. Canada springs into action to…to help countries dealing with particular humanitarian issues. Like Haiti, Africa, and other countries that need help. We, the residents of Lac-Mégantic, have the following question. We are also dealing with a situation that is very, very…that I consider a humanitarian situation, because there is currently a lot of suffering in Lac-Mégantic that is well‑documented in public health. This situation has been going on for almost four years now. We do not understand the delay in announcing the solution that would finally allow the people of Lac-Mégantic to feel safe. So we…we are asking you tonight, when are you going to announce the construction of the bypass? Thank you.
RIGHT HONOURABLE JUSTIN TRUDEAU: Thank you.
I am…I am very happy you’re here tonight. Thank you, Robert, thanks to everyone who…who has come from Lac-Mégantic. What happened to you was a horrible tragedy. I have…I have visited a few times…uh, uh, in the months and years that followed and you…you can practically feel the distress…that continues. The state of shock in which too many people are still living. And I understand how important this bypass is to you.
And I agree that it is something that…that we really need to do. However, there is a process that has to be followed with the province, with the federal government, with the municipality. What I have undertaken to do, along with Minister Garneau, who has also met with you several times, is to speed up the process as much as possible to…be able…to help you.
The evaluation process is the currently in the hands of the Province of Quebec. It’s a Quebec responsibility. But we are working with them, encouraging them to speed up the process. Tomorrow morning I will be meeting with the mayor of Lac‑Mégantic specifically to discuss this matter. To look at how we can help this community, which has been shattered, almost emotionally destroyed by…by this tragedy, begin to heal. I agree with you. It has been…we might have been able to rebuild physically, to a certain extent, but emotionally, I understand that you are still going through some tough times. We all sense it. There is not one Quebecer, one Canadian, who does not remember that horrible night four years ago. And we…we are still with you and we will support you during this time of healing, and we will work to do everything we can to help you with this bypass. It will be Ottawa, it will be Quebec, it will be all of us together who will…will do this work with you. Thank you.