Tom Mulcair urges federal government to help people of Lac-Mégantic

OTTAWA – A week after the catastrophe that hit the community of Lac-Mégantic, Official Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair is urging the federal government to act swiftly to ensure that those who are most in need can get assistance.

“Victims are returning home and will need support from all levels of government. The federal government must show leadership and compassion by supporting the people of Lac-Mégantic,” said Mr. Mulcair.

Mr. Mulcair is calling on the Conservatives to indicate how they intend to respond to requests from the Quebec government.

He suggested that the federal government suspend the two-week Employment Insurance waiting period for those who have lost their jobs because of this disaster.

The NDP leader also called on the government to review EI eligibility criteria, including the hours of work needed to qualify, to ensure that victims of the Lac-Mégantic tragedy are not unfairly denied access to EI.

“Exceptional events call for exceptional measures,” he said.

Mr. Mulcair commended Lac-Mégantic Mayor Colette Roy-Laroche, Quebec Premier Pauline Marois, police officers, firefighters and all other first responders who worked tirelessly to help the victims.

“Their professionalism and hard work show the power of solidarity to help us through this difficult time. New Democrats are ready to support all efforts to help the people of Lac-Mégantic as soon as possible.”