Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, made the following statement commending Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority and Bridging North America on their announcement of the Community Benefits Plan for the Gordie Howe International Bridge project:
“The Gordie Howe International Bridge project demonstrates Canada’s commitment to investing in modern and resilient infrastructure that grows the economy. The new crossing between Windsor and Detroit will strengthen this important trade and transportation link between Canada and the United States. It will positively impact the flow of traffic and goods, helping businesses get their goods to market, and making it more efficient for travellers, commuters and shoppers to cross the border.
The bridge project, which is made possible by a strong, collaborative partnership between Canada and Michigan, has now reached another important milestone. After nearly four years of consultation and meaningful engagement with over a thousand stakeholders and citizens, Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority and Bridging North America have announced a comprehensive Community Benefits Plan that will have wide-ranging positive social, economic and environmental impacts on Windsor-Essex and Detroit.
The Gordie Howe International Bridge is a once in a generation project and its Community Benefits Plan is a direct response to the specific needs of the local communities. By integrating community benefits into major infrastructure projects, we extend our investment into local neighbourhoods, increasing economic prosperity and improving the lives of residents.
In addition to the 2,500 direct jobs Bridging North America expects to be created by the project, targeted workforce development initiatives will foster training, business opportunities, and local employment for workers including First Nations, youth and women. The Neighbourhood Infrastructure Strategy will provide $10 million each for Sandwich and Delray, resulting in social and economic improvements, including green neighbourhood initiatives, such as a multi-use pathway for cyclists and pedestrians.
The benefits plan demonstrates that close collaboration and partnership between Canada and Michigan can ensure the prosperity and well-being of our communities on both sides of the border. It shows what can be accomplished when we engage and listen to one another, and work together to better the lives of our people.
We look forward to seeing the many direct benefits for residents and businesses in Windsor, Sandwich, Delray and for Walpole Island First Nation as the plan is implemented with community partners over the coming months and years.
As Canada continues to invest in 21st century infrastructure, the Gordie Howe International Bridge project will serve as a leading example of how to leverage these investments to achieve transformative social, economic and environmental impacts in our communities.”
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