Quebec Premier Pauline Marois said the provincial government would provide $25 million in emergency assistance immediately, with another $25 million to help with reconstruction efforts.
"It's small comfort, we know," Marois said. But she said the government hopes rebuilding will become "a mobilizing force" for the town.
Tuesday, some 1,200 residents were allowed to return to their homes in the area. Among them was Michel Gagnon, who was eating lunch Wednesday on his patio, a few blocks from the edge of the cordon.
Gagnon said Lac-Megantic's downtown had lost everything, but within a few years, "everything will be back up."