Lac-Mégantic: Is railway’s CEO for real? Passes buck to insurance company


The death toll from the recent train derailment in Lac-Mégantic stands at 47. The downtown core is still a shambles. The entire small close-knit community is in mourning. And Ed Burkhardt the Chairman of the company responsible, Montreal, Maine & Atlantic, sums it up by saying in an interview with CBC’s As it Happens:

I think fundamentally we were running a safe railway, but we sure blew it on that occasion.

When a sports team has a game under control and lets the other team come back and win, that’s blowing it

LacMegAh shucks, did you? We sure blew it? When a sports team has a game under control and lets the other team come back and win, that’s blowing it. When you plan a surprise party for someone and let it slip out, ruining the surprise, that’s blowing it. When a train owned by your company causes the destruction and misery that has taken place in Lac-Mégantic to say you blew it is an insult.

Is this man insane … All along Burkhardt has come off as though he sees this tragedy as just a nuisance

All along Burkhardt has come off as though he sees this tragedy as just a nuisance, a blip on his company’s record. Does he not, even after a short visit to Lac-Mégantic, understand the depth of the pain and loss these people are facing? But he sees it differently …

We’re all victims of what occurred. Our company has suffered very badly and that’s going to go on.

… so the company has to lay-off those it hasn’t killed

Is this man insane? Is he just an unfeeling cad? Add to the mix the fact his company is laying-off workers in the region –  yep, his company can’t operate as it did because the line is blocked by one of his trains that killed 47 people, so the company has to lay-off those it hasn’t killed – and that Burkhardt is already passing the buck on compensation by saying it’s up to the insurance company – which must remain unnamed, and you have a world-class public relations disaster. The directors of Montreal, Maine & Atlantic who are no doubt scrambling madly to consult personal lawyers regarding their own liability, should keep Burkhardt under control and certainly far away from media.

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