A Message from the Lac-Mégantic Community
To mark the anniversary of the tragedy at Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, Canada (a freight train carrying crude oil derailed near the downtown area killing 47people), that community reached out to other rail communities with a message of solidarity. The original French version is available online. This translation is courtesy of Dan Leahy of Olympia.
by Jacques Gagnon
Citizens Committee, Lac-Mégantic Region
Lac-Mégantic, June 29, 2015
Greetings to all,
During the week to commemorate the railroad tragedy in Lac-Mégantic, I want to send greetings to all those who struggle to reduce the use of fossil fuels, particularly those who work to stop the Bomb-Trains.
I want to speak to the situation in Lac- Mégantic. Two years after the derailment of the MMA train, our downtown still resembles a battle field. All the buildings that were saved on the night of July 6, 2013 were demolished this winter. The immense trenches that were dug still contain soil contaminated by crude oil.
Train service was the first thing that came back to normal here. Our observations have shown that the state of the rails is still unacceptable. The CMQ company that owns the rail line that runs from Montreal, Quebec to St. John’s, New Brunswick recently improved the situation by having the propane trains reduce their speed to 10/km per hour when they come through our town.
The municipal government has proposed a reconstruction plan that divides the population so that the most beautiful places are reserved for commercial tourism.
In any case, the struggle continues. I want to thank all those in America who continue the work of resistance. I am especially pleased to see that first nations are involved in this struggle. Theirs is a very important force.
I look forward to the great success of the multiple actions that have been organized around this vital cause.
On the 5th of July, we will march to stop the oil trains coming to Lac-Mégantic. We will march to affirm our disagreement with the restart of the transportation of Bakken Crude Oil that is scheduled to begin in 2016.