Prime Minister Trudeau announces an agreement to create a rail bypass in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec
Hello everyone! I want to start by recognizing all the folks from Lac-Mégantic and the region gathered here today. This is a momentous occasion, not just for you, but for the entire country. Almost five years ago, the whole country was struck and affected by what happened here, but none more than you. And to be able to be here together today, this morning, that means a lot to me. I also want to acknowledge the federal Transport Minister, Marc Garneau; Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister and MP for Compton-Stanstead; the Premier of Quebec, Philippe Couillard; the provincial MNA for Mégantic, Ghislain Bolduc; and the federal MP for Mégantic-L’Érable, Luc Berthold; the mayor of Lac-Mégantic, Julie Morin; the former mayor of Lac-Mégantic, Colette Roy; and the mayors of Frontenac and Nantes, Gaby Gendron and Jacques Breton, who have also joined us. As well as reeve Marielle Fecteau. Thank you for being here this morning for this important announcement. On July 6, 2013, the Lac-Mégantic region suffered the tragic loss of parents, children, friends, neighbours and co-workers. Canadians from all across the country still remember the heart-rending images of the railway accident that took 47 lives and destroyed a portion of the downtown core. All Canadians were united in mourning following these terrible events. It was in these dark moments that we were witness to the exceptional courage of the first responders, the generosity of the residents of neighbouring communities and, most of all, the resilience of the people of Lac-Mégantic. In the weeks, the months and the years that followed, Lac-Mégantic became a synonym for hope, determination and solidarity. In spite of the obstacles, the tragedy gradually gave way to rebuilding and healing, and that stands as a tribute to the residents. No community should have to go through what Lac-Mégantic experienced, no one should have to suffer the tragic loss of their loved ones. You know, on the day an infrastructure project is announced, politicians are usually all smiles, but not today. Today, there’s nothing we wouldn’t give to go back in time so as not to be here today making this announcement. Obviously, we can’t rewrite history, but we can shape the future together. We can support your community in a specific way, and that is what we are doing today. Today, we are announcing that the railway track will leave Lac-Mégantic’s downtown core once and for all. The Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec have reached an agreement in principle to jointly fund the rail bypass project in Lac-Mégantic.
Today we are announcing that the railway track will leave Lac-Mégantic’s downtown core for good. The Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec have reached an agreement in principle to jointly fund the rail bypass project.
The new route, which extends over more than 12 kilometres was selected on the basis of the results of a feasibility study started by the municipality of Lac-Mégantic. On that point, I want to underscore the hard work done by Minister Garneau and the current and past representatives of the three municipalities involved, and by area residents.
Today, we are taking an important step to help heal the wounds of a community that has been through so much.
It’s now been almost five years that the people of Lac-Mégantic have been supporting one another and carrying the tremendous weight of the loss they suffered. We hope that today’s announcement will ease their minds and help in the healing process. We hope that by ensuring that the trains leave the downtown core for good, we will be lightening their burden. Once again, I want to thank all of my colleagues for their work and all of the stakeholders who have made this bypass route possible.