Ottawa strikes to accumulate land for Lac-Megantic rail bypass, 10 years after catastrophe

OTTAWA – The federal authorities is shifting to accumulate land in order that it could construct a rail bypass in Lac-Megantic, Que., practically 10 years after a downtown freight practice derailment killed 47 individuals.

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra introduced that he made the troublesome resolution to expropriate land after the failure of negotiations to buy property from native landowners.

The minister stated a discover of intent to expropriate has been printed in Quebec’s land registry, and landowners have been contacted by e-mail and phone to tell them of the discover.

Landowners also can count on to obtain official discover by registered mail.

Alghabra stated he understands that some property homeowners are offended in regards to the resolution, however the core goal is to cease trains from travelling by way of Lac-Megantic’s downtown, and stop one other catastrophe.

The choice to reroute the practice tracks follows Alghabra’s go to to the area final month, when he met with neighborhood members and expressed the federal government’s need to assemble a bypass as quickly as doable.

The rail catastrophe came about early within the morning on July 6, 2013, when an unattended freight practice carrying crude oil derailed downtown and a number of vehicles exploded, killing 47 individuals and flattening 30 buildings.

In 2018, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced a plan to collectively fund a rail bypass with the federal government of Quebec.

Negotiations with landowners started in 2021, and the negotiation interval was prolonged 3 times “to permit landowners extra time to correctly consider their provide, to make use of the providers of consultants and to acquire stories associated to the worth and sale of their property,” the minister stated in his assertion Monday night.

“Sadly, for varied causes, the federal government of Canada has not been capable of finalize buy and sale agreements with all of the landowners.”

Procurement Minister Helena Jaczek was the one to provoke the expropriation course of, Alghabra’s assertion stated, and he promised that the federal government could be by landowners’ facet all through the method.

“I perceive that a number of the landowners are offended, saddened or anxious about this resolution. Consider me, it was not taken evenly,” stated Alghabra.

“The choice to proceed with the expropriation, as troublesome as it’s, is my dedication to the neighborhood members who need this venture to maneuver ahead, particularly as we mark the tenth anniversary of the tragedy in July of this yr.”

Lac-Megantic Mayor Julie Morin had informed The Canadian Press that she was reassured by the minister’s dedication to the venture, upon his go to final month.

This report by The Canadian Press was first printed Feb. 13, 2023.


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