The Government of Canada provides an update on the progress of the Lac-Mégantic Bypass Project
November 5, 2021 Lac-Mégantic (Quebec) Transport Canada
The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the communities of Lac-Mégantic and the surrounding area, ensuring rail safety, and moving the bypass project forward as quickly as possible.
The Honourable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport, wishes to inform the citizens of the communities of Lac-Mégantic, Nantes and Frontenac of the project’s significant progress in recent months.
A number of steps have recently been achieved, including:
- An office was recently opened in Lac-Mégantic to facilitate discussions with the owners and assist them during the negotiation process as part of the land acquisition. Owners can, by appointment, meet there with Government of Canada officials.
- The submitting of the first offers to purchase the land has begun, thus initiating the mutual negotiations with the owners. Offers will continue to be submitted gradually over the coming weeks.
- A number of studies were completed in recent weeks, including those on soil and water quality, vehicle traffic, and archeology. The data obtained will help advance the plans and specifications under development.
- The plans and specifications reached the 30% progress mark and were submitted to the Canadian Transportation Agency in order to initiate the project approval process.
- A number of other studies and works are underway to incorporate the identified environmental protection measures into the project. This way, data will be obtained on noise levels, private drinking water sources, and fish habitat.
Transport Canada is listening to the citizens and will continue to inform the Lac-Mégantic community and surrounding areas as the project progresses. To that end, a Neighbourhood Committee will be established with a mandate to provide information about the activities underway and next steps of the project.
Once all the required regulatory authorizations are obtained, the construction phase of the bypass can begin on the lands purchased for the project.
“I want to reiterate that the Lac-Mégantic rail bypass will continue to be a priority for the Government of Canada until it is fully completed in 2023. We will make every effort to move the work forward and complete the project, and ensure that this line is operational in support of rebuilding the communities of Lac-Mégantic, Nantes and Frontenac.”
The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport
On May 11, 2018, the Governments of Canada and Quebec announced joint funding for the construction of the Lac-Mégantic bypass. The final route selection is based on many studies conducted as part of the feasibility study led by the Town of Lac-Mégantic.
Public hearings on the environment enabled Quebec’s Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques to identify 138 environmental measures that were incorporated into the project. These measures can be found at (in French only): https://www.ree.environnement.gouv.qc.ca/dossiers/3211-08-013/3211-08-013-28.pdf
The Government of Canada will have to acquire 80 lots, mainly parcels of lots, in order to complete the Lac-Mégantic bypass project. Those properties belong to 44 owners, including the Town of Lac-Mégantic and Quebec’s Ministère des Transports. The government has committed to offering owners a fair and equitable value for their properties, including additional compensation.
On May 27, 2021, Transport Canada signed a contribution agreement with Canadian Pacific. This was an important step towards obtaining the plans, specifications, and regulatory authorizations needed for the project.
Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
Transport Canada, Ottawa
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