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Harper commits up to $95M for Lac-Megantic decontamination

Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Que, on July 6, 2013. Source: Surete du Quebec

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is committing up to $95 million in federal funds to help decontaminate Lac-Megantic’s water and soil.

Harper says the money is part of a 50-50 cost-shared agreement with Quebec.

“Our government is proud to be providing substantial additional assistance to Lac-Megantic to help its residents return to normalcy in the aftermath of the deadly train derailment in July,” Harper said in the Quebec town on Thursday.

“The support announced today will help decontaminate the affected areas, including the soil near the derailment site and the Chaudiere River and lake. This is an essential stepping stone toward the town’s reconstruction and recovery.”

Harper was accompanied by federal cabinet minister Christian Paradis and the town’s mayor, Colette Roy-Laroche.

The federal government says Quebec has estimated the clean-up costs after last summer’s deadly train derailment at $190 million.

A train carrying vast quantities of crude oil careened off the tracks last July, killing 47 people and destroying much of Lac-Megantic’s downtown core.