Lac-Mégantic safety advocates optimistic despite inaction from Ottawa
Advocates told there will be no money for a rail bypass in this year's budget
Advocates for rail safety in Lac-Mégantic say their meeting with federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau was "positive" despite emerging with no clear timeline for their demands.
The group was hoping see action on its longstanding request to reroute the train line so that it would bypass the downtown.
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The coalition of citizens for better rail safety also called on the federal government to encourage the company Central Maine & Quebec Railways to repair a section of Lac-Mégantic which is still in terrible condition.
"It is important to the citizens," said spokesman Gilbert Carette. "They're really concerned about the safety of a petrol convoy passing through Mégantic town."
The group met Garneau in Montreal on Monday morning.
Carette said despite not offering clear timelines, Garneau was receptive to their demands.
"I have a positive reaction about our meeting with Mr. Garneau," said Carette. "I believe safety will be improved in the next months."
Forty-seven people died after a freight train carrying crude oil derailed in 2013.
No money in budget
Even though building a bypass is the number one objective for the coalition, members have been told in advance it won't get their request in this federal budget.
Last Wednesday, Garneau confirmed there won't be any money for a rail bypass in the budget that's expected on March 22.
Garneau said he's waiting on results of a feasibility study before committing federal money to the project.
In January, Garneau announced no trains carrying crude oil will be allowed to travel through Lac-Mégantic until next year "out of respect" for the town.