I have just returned from Lac-Mégantic where I went to meet Marilaine Savard, the spokesperson for a new citizens’ group formed following the July 6 tragedy, as well as Jean Roy and André Blais of the Association for the Protection of Lac Mégantic.
This is also the first time I have seen the downtown site since the accident. The cars are out but the destruction is enormous. The fences in the disaster area are still visible and filled with messages commemorating the victims of this oil tragedy.
Today, almost seven months after the tragedy, many citizens are questioning the validity and independence of the information provided and the reassurance given by the authorities.
Is the water clean? Will the soil really be decontaminated? For whose benefit will the new city centre be rebuilt, and will the citizens be consulted?
These are some of the social and environmental concerns of the citizens of the region.
Demonstrating leadership in the wake of such a tragedy is an exemplary gesture that deserves to be recognized.
Tackling the real causes of this avoidable tragedy is an unavoidable step forward that Quebec must take.
The time has come to turn the page on oil and other dangerous and under-regulated industries.
Let us ensure that the citizens of Lac-Mégantic are adequately compensated, respected and listened to so that this type of tragedy does not happen again. We have a duty to push for changes after what we have done to them.
Together for a UNI Quebec and solidarity with Lac-Mégantic.
Leader of the Green Party of Quebec