The Agriculture Union Social Justice Fund is making a one-time $10,000 donation to help the people of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec rebuild their community – and their lives – following last summer’s horrific train car explosion.

The request for the donation was made by Jacquelin Carrier, President of Local 10008, whose work as a meat inspector often took him to the picturesque Eastern Township town.

As is all-too-well known, last July 6, a runaway 74-car freight train carrying flammable petroleum products derailed in the centre of the community. Half the downtown was incinerated and 47 lives were lost. Many other residents were left homeless or were evacuated.

While the national headlines may have moved on to the broader questions of rail safety, the people of Lac-Mégantic are still coming to grips with the aftermath. We are confident that our Social Justice Fund’s donation to the Canadian Red Cross Relief Fund for Lac-Mégantic will make a meaningful contribution to that difficult process.

One can also only hope that transport regulators will learn from this tragedy – the worst rail disaster in Canada since 1864 – and ensure that Lac-Mégantic’s tragedy will never be repeated.