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The governments of Québec and Canada unveil the chosen project
LAC-MÉGANTIC, QC, May 11, 2018 – The governments of Québec and Canada have reached a tentative agreement allowing for the construction of a railway that will bypass the centre of Lac-Mégantic. The project is expected to cost $133 million, and will involve laying down 12.8 km of new tracks. The Government of Québec will contribute 40% of the total cost of the project, while the Government of Canada will contribute 60%.
The chosen solution proved to be the most advantageous socially, technically and financially. It was developed following a meticulous process, and it will safeguard the long-term well-being of the community while also ensuring that local companies can continue to benefit from adequate railway transportation.
The construction of this bypass route is much more than a conventional railway infrastructure project. It is an exceptional response to an exceptional situation, born from an extremely painful moment in Québec’s recent history. With this announcement, the Government of Québec is telling the people of Mégantic that we stand beside them.
– Philippe Couillard, Premier of Québec
Since the tragedy, we have wanted to offer the people of Mégantic peace of mind. The new route will be further from inhabited areas, while maintaining the railway connection between the companies of the Lac-Mégantic industrial park and the North American railway network.
– André Fortin, Minister of Transport, Sustainable Mobility and Transport Electrification
Nothing can erase that tragic night. However, once this project has been completed, our nights will become more peaceful. I would like to thank our citizens for their involvement in this important project, and I would like to thank our governments for listening.
– Ghislain Bolduc, MNA for Mégantic
- The feasibility study for this railway bypass was announced in the 2014-2015 budget.
- The study, which began in June 2015, was funded in equal parts by the Government of Québec (Ministère des Affaires Municipales et de l’Occupation du Territoire [MAMOT]: 25%, and Ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité Durable et de l’Électrification des Transports [MTMDET]: 25%) and the federal government (Canada Economic Development [CED]: 50%).
- A strategic committee (administrative level) comprised of the main partners (MAMOT, MTMDET, CED, Transport Canada and the town of Lac-Mégantic) was created in order to follow the progress of the study, to keep the authorities up to date and to promote regional consensus on the new route of the railway bypassing the centre of Lac-Mégantic. This committee has held eight meetings since the beginning of the study. The last meeting took place on April 12, 2018.
- The tentative agreement anticipates that the Government of Canadawill ensure project management and will take charge of land acquisition through federal expropriation.