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The Lac-Mégantic Rail Disaster
Public Betrayal, Justice Denied

By (author) Bruce Campbell


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Who caused this small-town catastrophe? How could it happen?


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BRUCE CAMPBELL is a former Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, one of Canada's leading independent think tanks. He is the author of three major reports and a number of media 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 and spent 2016 as a visiting professor at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law. Throughout his career, Bruce has written numerous reports on economic policy, trade and investment, Canada-US-relations, and the political economy of oil. His commentaries have appeared in major newspapers and online news sites across Canada. His previous books include the edited volumes Living with Uncle: Canada-US Relations in an Age of Empire and Medicare: Facts, Myths, Problems & Promise. Bruce is currently Adjunct Professor, York University, Faculty of Environmental Studies, and Senior Fellow, Ryerson University, Centre for Free Expression. He lives in Ottawa.


Unpublished endorsement

"Who and what led up to this disaster? Was it the result of a few workers not following the rules as the federal Minister of Transport claimed, or were other people and events behind this? Bruce Campbell has carried out meticulous research in many fields to piece together the whole story of a catastrophe-in-the making, and his findings, as reported in this book, will be of interest to readers who value human life, intact communities, and a safe environment. Much more than a research report, the book is a dramatic read, with no letup in the action from start to finish."


Unpublished endorsement

"Bruce Campbell has made a superb contribution. His vivid account of the events at Lac-Mégantic reveal a deep empathy for the victims. He accords them the highest respect possible by avoiding sentiment and explaining why it all happened. He puts the tragedy in its economic and political context. He shows how the internalization of neoliberalism by our political elites has made it too easy easy for predators. Deregulation to satisfy the avaricious heedless of human welfare, is carefully documented. The associated disciplining of bureaucrats and the corruption of corruptible regulators is brought out with precision. Campbell proves that the Lac-Mégantic disaster was a designed event, not an accident. The law's failure to punish the truly guilty endorses his point. This is a "must read" for all, but especially for those of us who want to believe that our political and legal institutions are there to protect us, rather than private profiteers."


Unpublished endorsement

"With great policy proficiency and a profound quest for justice, Campbell clearly explains why Transport Canada, along with and railway companies/lobbies and oil companies, did not want a public inquiry into the tragedy of Lac-Mégantic. This book exposes how these actors sought to shield their actions rather than promote public safety. Corporate greed and narcissism, regulatory capture, political laissez-faire and unaccountability are boldly explained as some of the unwarranted causes of this tragedy. These explanations, as infuriating as they are, tragically comfort after more than five years of impunity and mourning."


Unpublished endorsement

"Bruce Campbell has achieved a rare feat. By combining careful and meticulous research with compelling personal narratives, his engaging and highly readable book is both a sobering analysis of the diverse constellation of factors that ultimately lead to the Lac-Mégantic tragedy and a moving elegy to those whose lives were forever altered by it. It is also a call to action and a larger reflection on the need to balance prosperity with fundamental values. All Canadians should read this book."


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