LAC-MÉGANTIC, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Dec. 6, 2013) - The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, and the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development, Minister for La Francophonie and Member of Parliament for Mégantic-l'Érable, today visited Lac-Mégantic in the company of the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, to announce the accelerated allocation of federal funding for the economic recovery of Lac-Mégantic.

The $35 million budget envelope from Canada Economic Development announced this past July 22nd will include three components: up to $20 million in aid for the reconstruction, up to $10 million in direct funding to businesses and non-profit organizations, and up to $5 million in financial assistance through two investment funds to be administered by one or more local organizations.

The three ministers on site in Lac-Mégantic today felt it was important to meet with key local representatives, including Mayor Colette Roy-Laroche, in order to identify the needs of the community devastated by the rail disaster as well as to confirm the Government of Canada's continued presence on the ground and reaffirm its intention to work directly with the city and local stakeholders toward the economic recovery of Lac-Mégantic.

"We said we would be there for the population of Lac-Mégantic and, today, we are holding true to that promise. We are working with the people at the ground level to speed up our assistance and help re-launch the economy of Lac-Mégantic," stated Minister Lebel.

"The resiliency shown by the local population in the aftermath of this tragic event can be held up as an example for the whole country, and for generations to come. Our government has been present and on-site since the first day, and we will be here right up until the last. We will continue providing support to the people and the businesses of Lac-Mégantic, in the short term, in the medium term and in the long term," explained Minister Paradis.

"The victims of the Lac-Mégantic disaster are at the very heart of our government's concerns, which is why we have allocated $120 million in support so far to meet the immediate aid and recovery needs and decontaminate the affected areas. There is still much work to be done, but we intend to spare no effort for as long as it takes to get the city of Lac-Mégantic back on its feet," added Minister Blaney.

Added to the assistance from Canada Economic Development is a $25 million budget allocation from Public Safety Canada for immediate aid and recovery needs and up to $95 million for the cleanup of soil and water contaminated in the derailment. In total, the Government of Canada has committed more than $155 million in support for the community of Lac-Mégantic.

Related documents:

Government of Canada delivers support to the community of Lac-Mégantic

PM announces support for decontamination measures at Lac-Mégantic

Canada Economic Development Twitter page

Contact Information:

Marie-Josee Paquette
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
Canada Economic Development