Speech by M.P. Jeff Watson to announce members of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) and the International Authority

Bonjour. (Good morning. — acknowledge dignitaries)

Je suis heureux d'être ici aujourd’hui.
(I am pleased to be here today.)

Le Canada et les Etats-Unis ont une relation très importante et inestimable, grâce à laquelle nos relations commerciales viennent renforcer nos economies et stimuler notre prospérité.
(Canada and the United States share a very important and valued relationship. As part of this, our trade partnership strengthens our economies and fuels our prosperity.)

But to support growth in trade, we need efficient transportation networks.

The Detroit River International Crossing – also known as the New International Trade Crossing – is crucial to the economic prosperity of our countries.

Along with a new six-lane bridge, the project will include border inspection facilities in both Canada and the United States and an interchange connecting to Interstate-75 in Michigan.

It will provide a much-needed alternative at the busiest Canada-U.S. commercial border crossing and is expected to create 10,000 to 15,000 construction jobs in Ontario and Michigan.

We need dedicated people to make this project a reality, and, today, on behalf of the Government of Canada, I am pleased to announce two appointments that will help this project move ahead.

First, I commend the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority for appointing Mr. Eddie Francis to the International Authority, which will oversee construction of the crossing. He joins distinguished community and business leaders from both sides of the border who are playing an important role in the delivery of the new bridge.  Mr. Francis' appointment will take effect as of December 1, 2014.

As former long-time City of Windsor Mayor, Mr. Francis has been a key player on this file since the beginning.

His vast municipal and legal experience, combined with his longstanding support and interest in the bridge project, will bring great benefits to the International Authority.

I also am pleased to announce the appointment of Craig Rix to the board of directors of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority for a term of three years.

Mr. Rix is a Partner with the law firm Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP, and through his legal practice, he has significant experience in human resources law and advocacy, strategic planning, governance and public policy.

His policy and governance expertise will be a great asset to the Board of the Authority, as the organization works toward the building of the new bridge.

Ladies and gentlemen, this new crossing is of vital importance to the economic prosperity of communities and businesses in both Canada and the United States.

Nous sommes impatients de poursuivre cette collaboration afin de faire progresser ce projet, de poursuivre nos objectifs communs et de bâtir ce pont de l’avenir.
(We look forward to continuing to work together to advance this project, to pursue our common goals and to build this bridge to the future.)

Merci. Thank you.