Highly Deplorable and Completely Unacceptable: Rail Co. Refuses to Pay to Clean Town It Obliterated

by
Abby Zimet

It was bad enough when a train from the U.S.-owned Montreal, Maine & Atlantic (MM&A) derailed and exploded in Quebec a few weeks ago, killing at least 47 people, leaking millions of gallons of crude oil into the ground and nearby waterways, and decimating the small town of Lac-Mégantic. Now, after a gut-wrenching memorial service and a press conference in which the insufferably glib head of MM&A's parent company Rail World belatedly turned up to blame firefighters and an engineer for the disaster without offering a shred of evidence, the company has failed to cover over $4 million in clean-up costs the town and province have been left to pick up. They are now suing. If we ever needed a text-book case of why corporate accountability, or some vestige of it, is needed, this is it. With background on the profits-before-safety record of the company, frightening parallels with tar sands issues, and the cringe-worthy CEO press conference as town residents express their rage. As well they should.

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