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Lac-Megantic lawsuit targets Ottawa for alleged failure to sanction railway

MONTREAL - Survivors of the Lac-Megantic disaster aim to sue Ottawa for allegedly failing to sanction North America's "most-unsafe" railway operator — a company whose highly explosive cargo wiped out part of their town. A runaway train hauling volatile crude oil derailed last summer and exploded in the Quebec community, killing 47 people and razing part of the downtown core.

Bad weather forces Quebec police to halt search of blaze ruins

By Randall Palmer L'ISLE-VERTE, Quebec (Reuters) - High winds and driving snow forced Quebec police on Sunday to suspend their search for bodies in the ice-clad ruins of a seniors' residence following a fire that authorities now believe killed 32 people. Specialist teams at the site of Thursday's blaze in the small town of L'Isle-Verte worked through the night, using steam and a machine blowing hot air in a bid to melt ice that in some places was two feet thick.

Lac-Megantic disaster chosen as 2013's Canadian Press News Story of the Year

LAC-MEGANTIC, Que. - Heading into 2013, Lac-Megantic was known as a quiet holiday town in a Quebec region recognized abroad for its mountaintop observatory and its inky, starry skies. The community finishes the year remembered for a deadly train crash that horrified people around the world and ignited a fire so big its rage could be seen from space.

Quebec urging action from Ontario on Lev Tahor group that fled province

MONTREAL - Child-welfare authorities and local police in Ontario say they found nothing unusual when they checked in on an ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect that fled to that province last week amid allegations of child neglect. Members of the Lev Tahor community of about 200 people — about half of them children— were under investigation by social services in Quebec for a host of issues including hygiene, children's health and allegations that the children weren't learning according the Quebec curriculum.

Ottawa commits up to $95 million for Lac-Megantic decontamination

LAC-MEGANTIC, Que. - Ottawa and Quebec shared a rare moment of solidarity Thursday, agreeing to split the estimated $190 million price tag to decontaminate the devastated town of Lac-Megantic. Last summer, a runaway tanker train carrying crude oil rumbled into the heart of the Quebec community, jumped the tracks and exploded in a fiery crash that killed 47 people. The derailment levelled the town's centre and spewed millions of litres of crude into the environment, contaminating the soil as well as a nearby river and lake.

Quebec hopes to turn page with municipal elections after era of scandal

MONTREAL - Quebec voters are hoping to turn the page on an era of scandal-ridden leadership as they cast their ballots in municipal elections across the province. Today's elections come as the province's Charbonneau Commission continues to hear testimony detailing a system of kickbacks and illegal party financing at the municipal level. The longtime mayors of Montreal and the suburb of Laval were forced to step down a year ago amid corruption allegations. Months later, their interim replacements resigned in scandal as well.

1-800-O-Collusion: Quebec inquiry hears how feds' Economic Action Plan targeted

MONTREAL - Quebec's corruption inquiry has heard how the federal Economic Action Plan featured in countless TV ads, roadside billboards and a telephone hotline would have been targeted for collusion. A former engineering executive says that in the years before the feds pumped billions into infrastructure projects under their action plan, a group of companies had set up their own collusion plan. He said eight companies created a system for the Quebec City area in 2004 where they agreed on a minimum price for work and would take turns winning public bids.

Federal infrastructure fund was great for business, Quebec corruption inquiry hears

MONTREAL - The federal government's historic multibillion-dollar infrastructure program has been lucrative for a few Quebec construction companies involved in illegal collusion, a witness testified at the province's corruption inquiry on Tuesday. That testimony produced a rare mention of the federal government at the probe — where politics outside Quebec has been declared off-limits and beyond the mandate of an inquiry that has severely rattled governments within the province.

World Fuel doubts Quebec rail-crash payment order is legal

(Reuters) - U.S. fuel logistics company World Fuel Services Corp said on Tuesday it has "serious objections" to being ordered by the Quebec government to help pay for the cleanup of the devastating railway crash in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, on July 6. The provincial government of Quebec signed a legal order on Monday obliging the U.S. operator of the train, Montreal, Maine and Atlantic (MMA) Railway, and World Fuel Services, whose subsidiary sold the light crude oil carried by the train's tanker cars, to foot the bill.

Railway says it can't pay for Lac-Megantic disaster cleanup

A railway involved in Quebec's fatal derailment doesn't have the cash to pay for the torrent of post-disaster expenses headed its way. The chairman of Montreal, Maine In the end, says one expert in civil responsibility, taxpayers could be stuck with a bill in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Quebec law professor Daniel Gardner says he highly doubts MMA has enough coverage to absorb the massive, combined financial liabilities of damages like environmental cleanup, emergency-crew salaries and lawsuits.
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