MP presses bridge issue with U.S. legislators

CBC News

Windsor West MP Brian Masse says the proposed new bridge between Windsor and Detroit is on his list of issues to raise with lawmakers from across the United States this week.

The New Democrat is part of an all-party Canadian delegation attending a conference of state legislators in San Antonio, Texas.

He says several issues of critical importance to Canada are worth raising with U.S., legislators, including trade, security, the environment and the border.

Masse, the NDP critic for the Canada-U.S. border, says he hopes to make headway on political support for a new bridge.

Earlier this summer, the Michigan state senate put off approving a new bridge until the fall, going against the hopes of Governor Rick Snyder that a project would be approved by July 1.

“It’s important they understand we need a new border crossing,” Masse said of the bridge project, which has only tepid support in the U.S., compared with its backers on the Canadian side.

For 80 years, cross-border travel at Windsor has relied on infrastructure that came about through “visionaries,” he told CBC News.

“And we need to think the same way. If we don’t get this accomplished, it’s going to affect trade for many different states because the current facility with regards to the Ambassador Bridge is deficient.”

The American owners of the Ambassador Bridge have campaigned heavily against a new bridge on both sides of the border.