July 6th, 2018

NDP Statement on the 5th Anniversary of the Lac Mégantic tragedy

Jagmeet Singh, Leaders of Canada’s NDP, issued the following statement:

“The tragedy in Lac Mégantic may have happened five years ago, but people are still reeling from the fiery train derailment that reduced their town centre to rubble and took the lives of 47 people.

On behalf of New Democrats, I would like to reassure residents that our thoughts are with them today and every day, as they continue the process of healing from this disaster.

The people of Lac-Mégantic and Le Granit Regional County Municipality are still experiencing the consequences of the railway tragedy. Out of respect for these communities, the federal government should build a bypass approved by the locals so that everyone can heal the wounds of this tragedy. That is why the NDP supports the unanimous request of the 20 municipalities of the MRC du Granit to modify the route of the bypass planned by the federal government.

It is sad that it took a tragedy of this magnitude to remind Canadians that we need stricter rail regulations that include more frequent risk assessment inspections. But the Liberal government has chosen to maintain the voluntary arrangements with rail companies that were established by the Conservatives. Voluntary agreements will not protect us from another tragedy like the one in Lac Mégantic.

It’s been five years now, and this continued Liberal inaction is unacceptable.

The three men charged with criminal negligence may have been found not guilty, and a new bypass may be built around the community, but this will not erase people’s memory of that fiery night.

On this tragic anniversary, New Democrats are again calling on the government to implement stricter rail safety standards. Canadians deserve urgent action to stop the senseless loss of lives."