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The larger story of the Lac-Mégantic rail disaster

Helicopter of view of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec

The sound of a train in the night... it’s a comforting sound that tells us somebody’s out there in the darkness.

But to the people of Lac-Mégantic in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, the sound of a train has very different associations. It’s a reminder of that night -- July 6, 2013 just after 1 am, when a runaway train barrelled into town, killing 47 people and decimating the core of the small town of approximately 6,000 people.

Bruce Campbell has just written a book called The Lac-Mégantic Rail Disaster – Public Betrayal, Justice Denied, published by James Lorimer and Company. He’s the former Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and is the author of three major reports and a number of media commentaries on the Lac-Mégantic tragedy.

The book is the story of one runaway train and a small town catastrophe. It's also a larger story about how free market ideology of unfettered markets, big oil and deregulation caused the tragedy. Bruce Campbell managed to blend the two aspects of the story – the political issues and the human repercussions, painting a vivid picture of the town and its people and the long term effects of policy failures on individual lives.  He speaks to rabble podcast exec producer Victoria Fenner.

You can read an excerpt from the book here.

Image: Wikipedia - Police Helicopter View of Lac-Mégantic

If you’re in Toronto tomorrow, November 9, 2018, join Bruce Campbell at the Centre for Social Innovation, 720 Bathurst for his Toronto book launch. It’s from 5-7 pm.

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