Thursday, July 17, 2014

Quebec to Invest More Money into Lac-Mégantic One Year After Oil Train Disaster

The government of Quebec has announced new investments to revitalize the economy of the town of Lac-Mégantic. At a provincial government press conference on July 12th, Municipal Affairs Minister Pierre Moreau announced the new spending. The investment comes a little more than one year after the oil train derailment and explosion that killed 47 and destroyed the downtown core of Lac-Mégantic.

Amid ongoing decontamination work the provincial government of Quebec announced that it will invest an additional $60 million to compensate victims, rebuild the downtown area and revitalize the Fatima district in the small town.

Thirty-seven million or more than half of the new money being invested will go toward rebuilding. It will specifically be used to help property owners and merchants in the blast area, or what is now referred to as the "Red Zone."

With some building and business owners complaining of delays, the money will be immediately made available. Meetings took place this week with the 37 merchants who were directly affected by the disaster.

The costs of transporting oil are made clear in the little Quebec town. The new investments bring the costs environmental cleanup and rebuilding to more than $128 million. If such an explosion took place in a major metropolitan center the costs to human life and property damage would be far greater.

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