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Charity scrimmage this Saturday at Bell Centre


Proceeds go to help Lac Mégantic


by John Symon


On Saturday, September 14, at 1 p.m., the Bell Centre will play host to an informal scrimmage starring Canadiens players divided up between two teams, one in red and the other in white. Habs (Canadiens) fans who wish to attend this game will be able to do so for only $5 (taxes included). Tickets are available on the team’s website, canadiens.com and evenko.ca, or through the Bell Centre’s ticket office. Each ticketholder will receive a free hot dog, a bag of chips and a soft drink. Proceeds from this scrimmage game will be donated to the Fonds Avenir Lac-Mégantic.


The Fonds Avenir Lac-Mégantic (Fund for the Future of Lac-Mégantic) was created in response to the Lac Mégantic Train Disaster according to a Canadian Red Cross press release. This fund seeks to aid the population of Lac Mégantic within commercial, community and municipal spheres. The Red Cross has another fund, le Fonds Soutien Lac-Mégantic, for dealing with more the immediate needs of those directly impacted by the tragedy.


The Lac Mégantic Train Disaster occurred on July 6, 2013. A runaway, unmanned, 74-car train operated by the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MM&A) carrying crude oil derailed in the Quebec town of Lac Mégantic, which has about 6,000 inhabitants. The resulting fireball destroyed some 30 buildings and presumably killed 47 people. The remains of 42 people have been recovered while five others remain missing and are presumed dead. The disaster thus destroyed about 50% of Lac Mégantic’s downtown buildings and killed almost one percent of the town’s population.

MM&A filed for bankruptcy protection in August and governments are stepping in to pay for cleanup costs from the disaster–estimated at over $200 million. This estimate presumably does not include reconstruction costs or compensation for lost business. Federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt specified, however, that the filing “does not mean that MM&A is off the hook for their responsibilities to the people of Lac-Mégantic”

It is unclear why crude oil–which is not normally explosive–created such a fireball. This tragedy has increased awareness about the need for vigilance around the increasing transport of crude oil and other hazardous materials, whether by train, truck, pipeline, or boat. In many cases, towns were built around train stations and residents are surprised to find how much hazardous material is now transported by rail.

Ticket information:


514-790-2525 or 1 855-310-2525
Tickets also available at the Bell Centre ticket office:

1909 des Canadiens-de-Montréal Ave.

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