Lac-Mégantic’s Mayor, Colette Roy-Laroche is in Washington D. C. today. She is a member of a group of mayors from the Canadian provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick and towns and communities across the border in the United States. The recently-formed coalition is in the capital to make the case for for increased railway safety to the U.S. Congress.
Lac-Megantic, Quebec, was the site of the catastrophic explosion of a runaway train that destroyed half the centre of the town and killed 47 people on the night of July 6, 2013.
In a statement, Roy-Laroche says the Lac-Megantic disaster serves as a cruel reminder of how inadequate regulations can have catastrophic results, particularly when human and financial losses far surpass the money invested in enforcing the rules.
The group wants the right to know what hazardous freight is moving through their communities and they want an emergency-response plan in place in the event of another accident.
The coalition of mayors is also demanding that rail companies by obliged to fix tracks immediately when problems arise and that better stronger cars be used to transport highly flammable materials.