08/21/2013 01:04 EDT | Updated 10/21/2013 05:12 EDT

Phillippe Couillard calls for expert panel on Lac-Mégantic

The leader of the Quebec Liberal Party, Phillippe Couillard, has proposed the creation of an expert panel with representatives from all levels of government to address the future of Lac-Mégantic and rail transport in Quebec.

"We believe the federal government has a part in providing finances, participating in the reconstruction efforts and also in rail transport," said Couillard at a press conference in Lac-Mégantic today.

The Liberal leader called on Quebec to work with the federal government in order to quickly reopen the area's rail transport in the coming months to prevent an "economic tragedy" for businesses in the region.

Couillard said the province has a large role to play in safely moving dangerous materials because the majority of goods are transported by road.

"The government of Quebec has jurisdiction over road transport, so it has a major responsibility and jurisdiction surrounding the regulation of hazardous materials," said Couillard.

This is Couillard's third visit to Lac-Mégnatic since the disaster. He was first in the town July 9, three days after the train derailment that caused the death of 47 people.