Quebec pledges $60M more to help rebuild Lac-Mégantic
Money earmarked for victim compensation, rebuilding downtown core and revitalizing Fatima neighbourhood
The Quebec government on Sunday pledged an additional $60 million to Lac-Mégantic to help with compensating victims and rebuilding the small town's downtown core.
Thirty-nine businesses in Lac-Mégantic's downtown core did not get destroyed when a train derailed and exploded in the centre of town on July 6, 2013.
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However, because they are located in the red zone centered around where the train exploded, owners have not been able to operate their businesses.
Therefore, $37 million of the new money will go to these business owners, said Pierre Moreau, minister of municipal affairs and land occupancy.
He said an incentive will be given to people who want to rebuild their businesses in Lac-Mégantic. For those who choose not to rebuild, Moreau said they will be given compensation equal to their land's fair market value.
Government officials will meet with the 39 businesses concerned this week.
According to Moreau, the money will be made available immediately.
MNA for Mégantic Ghislain Bolduc said the additional money was the government's way of showing that it continues to prioritize Lac-Mégantic's convalescence after a train derailed and exploded in the centre of town last summer.
The explosion killed 47 people.
The news release issued by the government said that the money is in response to the reality that current and existing programs to help the people of Lac-Mégantic are not sufficient.
Moreau said Lac-Mégantic has so far received $409 million in government aid since disaster.