The Lac-Mégantic Rail Disaster: Public Betrayal, Justice Denied

A public talk and book launch with Bruce Campbell

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.

At a time when record volumes of volatile diluted bitumen and shale oil are being hauled by rail throughout communities in North America, and with many safety risk factors still unresolved, the book concludes that the window remains open for history to repeat itself.

Join us for a talk with Bruce Campbell, author and former CCPA Executive Director, examining the systemic factors that allowed the Lac-Mégantic disaster to occur, and the far-reaching effects of this tragic event.

This is a free event but space is limited, so please register to reserve your spot. The venue entrance and restrooms are wheelchair accessible.


About Bruce Campbell

BRUCE CAMPBELL served as the CCPA’s Executive Director from 1994-2015. He is the author of three major reports and a number of commentaries on the Lac-Mégantic rail disaster. For his work on Lac-Mégantic, Bruce was awarded a Law Foundation of Ontario Community Leadership in Justice Fellowship. Bruce is currently Adjunct Professor, York University, Faculty of Environmental Studies, and Senior Fellow, Ryerson University, Centre for Free Expression.

This event is sponsored by: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives - BC and the Corporate Mapping Project  


January 29, 2019 at 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Lost + Found Cafe
33 W Hastings St
Vancouver, BC V6B 1G4
Google map and directions
Thi Vu · · 604-801-5121 ext. 230

Will you come?