Federal money to help relaunch businesses, rebuild downtown Lac-Megantic

LAC-MEGANTIC, Que. – Lac-Megantic residents have been given details on how some of the $60 million Ottawa has promised to help the devastated Quebec town will be spent.

A chunk of downtown Lac-Megantic was wiped out in July when a runaway train derailed, exploded and killed 47 people.

Denis Lebel, minister responsible for economic development for Quebec, told a news conference in the town today that $35 million of the $60 million will be used to help local business recover.

Of the $35 million, $20 million will go to reconstruction and $10 million will be spent on directly funding businesses and non-profit organizations.

The remaining $5 million will go to two investment funds to be administered by one or more local organizations.

Lebel also said about a dozen businesses struggling with debts will get payment and interest relief for six months.

Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney and Christian Paradis, who represents the Lac-Megantic area in the Commons, were also on hand for the announcements.