The Government of Canada has confirmed that it is supporting the ‘economic and commercial recovery of the town of Lac-Mégantic in the aftermath of the rail accident that occurred on July 6, 2013, and has made it a priority to be there for businesses and the community for the short, medium and long term.’
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Canada Economic Development (CED), announced that the town of Lac-Mégantic in Quebec has obtained C$310,465 in financial assistance to organise the first CANADAMAN/CANADAWOMAN Xtreme Triathlon, which will be held in Lac-Mégantic on 9 July 2017.
CANADAMAN/CANADAWOMAN is billed as ‘the only extreme triathlon in North America’. It is part of a series of four competitions: NORSEMAN (Norway), SWISSMAN (Switzerland) and CELTMAN! (Scotland). The Lac-Mégantic event is a point-to-point race that includes a 3.8K swim in Lake Mégantic, a ‘very hilly 180 kilometre bike ride’ along Summit Drive and a marathon that ends at the summit of Mont Mégantic.
A release from the Canadian government notes that ‘The participants are usually athletes who have taken part in many IRONMAN events and want a more intense challenge.’
The financial assistance was granted in the form of a non-repayable contribution under the Support for SMEs and Organizations component of the Economic Recovery Initiative for Lac-Mégantic (ERILM), administered by CED. More specifically, it will ‘help cover the costs of commercialization and international marketing for the event’.
The ERILM consists of a US$35 million budget and is divided into three components: City Reconstruction Projects, Support for SMEs and Organizations, and Investment Funds. This last component is administered by the Mégantic region Société d’aide au développement de la collectivité (SADC).
Navdeep Bains, Minister responsible for CED said, “The Government of Canada is proud to support the town of Lac-Mégantic for an international sports championship such as CANADAMAN/CANADAWOMAN, which will generate major economic benefits and media spinoff for the region. By providing financial assistance, we are reaffirming our commitment to supporting the town of Lac-Mégantic’s rebuilding and economic recovery efforts.”
Jean-Guy Cloutier, Mayor of Lac-Mégantic, added, “The town of Lac-Mégantic is very proud to host this international sporting event. It is important for us to showcase the region to hundreds of national and international visitors and thus embrace our leadership role in the region. This event will help us take one more step towards the economic recovery of our region.”
CED is one of the six regional development agencies under the responsibility of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.