Mr. Speaker, I first want to thank the member for Mégantic—L'Érable for the question and for his tenacity on this file. Obviously, this terrible tragedy had a devastating effect on his community. We recognize that, and we must reach out to the people of Lac-Mégantic.
Rail safety remains the Minister of Transport's top priority. When he visited, he heard loud and clear the concerns raised by local residents regarding rail safety. The incident that occurred in 2013 was one of the most tragic events to ever happen in Canadian transportation, and our thoughts are still with the families of the victims of that tragedy.
During his visit to Sherbrooke, the Prime Minister met with the mayor of Lac-Mégantic and committed to doing everything he could to speed up the process. After that visit, the Minister of Transport got in touch with the Government of Quebec to organize a meeting with the Province and the Town of Lac-Mégantic in order to discuss the bypass and the possibility of expediting the study.
We continue to monitor railway companies closely to ensure that they are complying with the rules, regulations, and standards by conducting audits and inspections and taking all necessary measures to rectify problems. That includes monitoring train speed and infrastructure in the Lac-Mégantic region.
Since taking office, the Minister of Transport has introduced a number of measures to enhance rail safety. He has established stricter requirements for track inspections, emergency response plans, and dangerous goods classification. That includes the accelerated removal of DOT-111 tank cars, which is a crucial step toward strengthening our rail system by making sure that crude oil no longer travels in the least crash-resistant tank cars.
The Minister of Transport was honoured to have Denis Lauzon, the Lac-Mégantic fire chief, join him for the announcement of Transportation 2030, a strategic plan that includes speeding up the review of the Railway Safety Act to build on our actions to improve rail safety across Canada.
The bypass feasibility study is still ongoing. According to the City of Lac-Mégantic, the cost of this study is nearly $1 million. Funding for the study comes from Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions and the Province of Quebec.
In April 2016, the project manager presented Transport Canada with the results of the first phase of the feasibility study and the preliminary recommendations for potentially building a bypass in Lac-Mégantic. The city then presented the preliminary results to the residents of Lac-Mégantic. There are three phases to the study, and to our understanding, phase two is moving along nicely.
Our government made Lac-Mégantic's economy recovery a priority and it is committed to revitalizing the community and healing its citizens. That is why we will continue to work with the city as well as other stakeholders to ensure that this is a collaborative effort.