Friday, November 9th 2018,
5:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M.
Refreshments and no-host bar
The Garage, Centre for Social Innovation – CSI Annex
720 Bathurst St. | Map
Toronto, ON M5S 2R4
Bathurst TTC Station
“The Lac-Mégantic Rail Disaster: Public Betrayal, Justice Denied” with author Bruce Campbell
“Much more than a research report, the book is a dramatic read, with no letup in the action from start to finish.” – Harry Gow, President Emeritus of Transport Action Canada and Chair of the Board of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre
The July 6, 2013 Lac-Mégantic rail disaster is a tragedy unparalleled in Canadian history. It resulted in major loss of life, massive environmental destruction and the evisceration of a small Quebec town. Blame landed squarely on the shoulders of three front-line employees of the Montreal, Maine, and Atlantic Railway Company. But a jury acquitted them.
Lac-Mégantic is the story of a rail industry writing its own rules, a booming US oil industry based on fracking, fighting any obstacles to selling their dangerous product, and a rogue US railway operator cutting corners to make his fortune. At another level the story is about a federal government blinded by its own free market ideology, fixated on making Canada an energy superpower, and compliant bureaucrats failing to protect the public interest.
At the heart of it all is a small, tight-knit community torn apart and struggling to recover. There is unimaginable loss, broken lives and families, and individual and collective trauma. But there is also healing, solidarity, commemoration, remembrance, and the determination to rebuild and transcend.
This book uncovers the truth about Lac-Mégantic. It includes first person interviews with many of the key players, analysis of the corporate executives and the companies involved, an examination of the complex world of transport safety regulation in Canada, and an account of the trials of the three accused.
BRUCE CAMPBELL is a former Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, one of Canada’s leading independent think tanks. For his work on Lac-Mégantic, Bruce was awarded a Law Foundation of Ontario Community Leadership in Justice Fellowship and spent 2016 as a visiting professor at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law. Bruce is currently Adjunct Professor, York University, Faculty of Environmental Studies, and co-investigator with the Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Respond to Climate Change research project, based at York University. He lives in Ottawa.