It has been more than three years since the Lac-Mégantic rail disaster, which killed 47 people, left 27 children orphaned, spilled six million litres of crude oil, and traumatized a community. On December 8, 2016, the University of Ottawa will host “Have the Lessons of the Lac-Mégantic Rail Disaster Been Learned?”, a conference exploring the impact of the disaster and the future of energy transportation in Canada.
Combining lives lost, environmental damage and physical destruction, the July 6, 2013 Lac–Mégantic disaster is – outside of wartime – without precedent in modern Canadian history. Lac-Mégantic, was the victim of a deeply flawed rail safety regime, corporate negligence, and an unconventional oil boom, with major climate change and other environmental implications.
Have the fundamental causes of regulatory failure behind Lac-Mégantic been fully brought to light? Has it led to the necessary improvements in the rail safety system? How has the justice system dealt with the consequences of Lac-Mégantic? What does it say about our oil dependence and climate commitments?
This conference will address four critically important issues: 1) the impact of the disaster on the Lac-Mégantic community; 2) the ability of the transportation regulatory system to ensure that the transportation of dangerous goods by rail can be done safely; 3) the ability of the Canadian justice system to deal with the consequences of Lac-Mégantic and other major disasters, as well as the role of local authorities in the Canadian constitutional context; and 4) the implications of the disaster for the future development of energy transportation infrastructure and unconventional oil development.
The conference will bring together, for the first time in a public forum, representatives of citizens’ groups from Lac-Mégantic to engage with politicians, legal scholars, rail safety and regulatory policy experts. The conference will provide a much-needed opportunity for discussion, debate and identification of possible avenues of consensus for moving forward.
WHAT: “Have the Lessons of the Lac-Mégantic Rail Disaster Been Learned?”, a conference exploring the impact of the disaster and the future of energy transportation in Canada.
WHEN: December 8, 2016, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
WHERE: University of Ottawa, Desmarais Building (55 Laurier), room 12102
FEE: $25 per person (students may register for free)