Quebec is seeking a role in the U.S. bankruptcy court system following the deadly derailment of a train owned by Montreal Maine & Atlantic Railway.
Quebec justice minister Bertrand St-Arnaud says the provincial government is seeking to ensure there’s compensation for those affected by the MM&A train derailment in Lac-Mégantic.
He says the government also wants to ensure that Quebec taxpayers don’t bear the costs of decontamination and rebuilding.
The government has appointed a Quebec bankruptcy specialist with standing in New York State to make representations on behalf of an informal creditors’ committee.
The committee represents the province, the municipality and members of a class-action lawsuit.
Luc Despins of the firm Paul Hastings will ask the court and the U.S. Trustee Office to officially recognize the creditors’ committee.
The province has also issued a legal demand to MM&A, Canadian Pacific Railway and several other companies it says are responsible for picking up the tab for mopping up from the July 6 train derailment, which killed 47 people, devastated the town core and dumped millions of litres of crude oil into the environment.
Calgary-based Canadian Pacific Railway has said it holds no financial responsibility for the rail disaster.
Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway has been granted Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. while its Canadian subsidiary has creditor protection.
According to court documents, MM&A owes about $48-million to 128 unsecured creditors, including $43.4-million to its parent company and $2.35-million to the operator of the NB Southern Railway.