October 11, 2023

The Future Fix: Lac-Mégantic, a model of resilience

By Evergreen and Spacing Radio

The Future Fix is a podcast created for the Community Solutions Network

After living through a horrific tragedy, Lac-Mégantic has rebuilt to become a better version of itself.

In July 2013, a cargo train carrying oil caught fire, derailed and exploded right in the middle of the town of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec. Six million liters of crude oil were spilled and most of the downtown area was destroyed by fire afterwards.

This tragedy has left many scars and traumas on the people of Lac-Mégantic, but it has also allowed the town to rebuild in unprecedented ways. Not only did the residents of Lac-Mégantic demonstrate their resilience, they also succeeded, with the efforts of public officials and community players, in rethinking their town – which had to be almost rebuilt from scratch – so that a tragedy like this could never happen again.

How did they do it? How did the principle of resilience take shape in the Lac-Mégantic community? That’s what Danielle Maltais, full professor at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi and director of the Traumatic Events, Mental Health and Resilience Research Chair, explained in this episode of Face au Futur.

And, after putting down on paper the broad outline of what the town should look like in the future, Lac-Mégantic rebuilt itself in harmony with nature. While oil was responsible for the worst disaster of all, now green energy models are the key. Mathieu Pepin, Energy Transition Project Manager for the Town of Lac-Mégantic, spoke to us about how their unique microgrid project took shape, and how it inspires other communities to rethink their energy sources.

This episode is conducted in French.

Lac-Mégantic, un modèle de résilience


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