Published in the Windsor Star on October 6, 2017

In September, our government approved the Canadian Transit Company’s application for the proposed Ambassador Bridge enhancement project, subject to conditions.

This means the Canadian Transit Company can proceed with building a new bridge, provided it meets certain conditions. These include dismantling the almost 90-year-old existing Ambassador Bridge and measures to address community and environmental concerns.

Much has been written in reaction to this announcement, specifically with how it relates to the Gordie Howe International Bridge project. We wanted to take the opportunity to offer some clarity.

From the outset, the Gordie Howe International Bridge has been designed assuming it would be one of two Windsor-Detroit bridges. In fact, with 25 per cent of total Canada-U.S. trade passing this crossing annually, a second bridge is essential to supporting the growth of trade between Canada and the U.S., and for our national security.

While the Canada Transit Company’s application was granted, this in no way impedes our government’s work on the Gordie Howe International Bridge — work that is well underway.

Under the oversight of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority, preparatory work is underway at both the Canadian and U.S. port-of-entry sites. We are looking forward to the completion of the procurement process and the start of construction on the bridge next year.

Our government is fully committed to the Gordie Howe International Bridge project and has every intention of seeing it through. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Donald Trump explicitly mentioned this project’s importance in their statement after their first meeting.

Working alongside our partners in Washington and Michigan, we will deliver on this critically important project.

Marc Garneau, minister of transport, and Amarjeet Sohi, minister of infrastructure and communities, Ottawa