Quebec moving ahead with plan to redistribute $39 million to Lac Megantic victims

by The Canadian Press (CPSTF)

The Quebec government is moving ahead with plans to redistribute $39 million to those impacted by the 2013 rail disaster in Lac-Megantic, Que., that killed 47 people.

About $20 million will go directly to victims recognized during the legal proceedings against Montreal, Maine & Atlantic railway.

That amount will be deducted without legal fees and distributed by the end of the year.

The other $19 million will be reserved to fund projects by citizens of the Lac-Megantic region.

In June, the Quebec Superior Court ruled that the government could redistribute as it saw fit the money it received in connection with bankruptcy proceedings involving the railway.

The Court of Appeal refused to hear an appeal of that judgment and the time limit to apply to the Supreme Court of Canada has elapsed.

Justice Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette said today in a statement the government’s priority has always been to act in the greatest interest of the victims of the July 6, 2013, rail tragedy.

“The redistribution of these sums aims first of all to do them justice, but also to allow this hard-hit community to continue rebuilding,” he said.