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Yesterday, Canadian Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt met with elected officials from Mégantic region to hear their concerns regarding rail safety in the wake of the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway derailment that occurred July 6 in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec.
"The tragedy in Lac-Mégantic will be imprinted in the collective memory of generations to come, " Raitt said in a prepared statement. "We continue to mourn the loss of life following the accident in Lac-Mégantic. We must never forget the lives lost and the entire community affected by this tragic event."
Taking part in the dialogue were Bernard Sévigny, mayor of Sherbrooke; Pauline Quinlan, mayor of Bromont; Vicki May Hamm, mayor of Magog; Arthur Fauteux, mayor of Cowansville; Jacques Demers, mayor of Sainte-Catherine-de-Hatley; Joseph Hüsler, mayor of Farnham; and Maurice Bernier, the préfet of the Regional County Municipality of Le Granit.
"The concerns of the mayors are quite legitimate — they want to ensure safety in their communities, balanced with the needs of their economy," Raitt said. "This is the goal of the federal government, as well."On July 23, Transport Canada announced it issued an emergency directive aimed at improving rail safety following the Lac-Mégantic accident. Although the accident's cause remains unknown, Transport Canada "continues to collaborate in the ongoing investigations," according to a press release.