On April 12, 2013 U.S. President Barack Obama issued a presidential permit that will allow construction of a new bridge between Detroit and Windsor. “This is a huge win,” said Bob Malcolmson, CEO & General Manager of the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce. “Since 2003 the Windsor/Detroit Border issue has been a part of the Ontario and Canadian Chambers of Commerce policy priorities.”
In May 2003 the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce first presented a policy resolution at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce AGM and in the fall of 2003 at the Canadian Chamber AGM calling on federal and provincial cooperation to invest and improve the infrastructure at the outdated Windsor/Detroit crossing.
The GOCC understood that Ontario industry was highly integrated with the United States and its economic success was dependent upon a “just-in-time” delivery system, which required an efficient and effective border, particularly at Windsor/Detroit. The Chamber believed a new crossing was essential to North America’s competitiveness in a global economy as it would ensure quick, reliable and cost effective transportation of goods and people between the U.S. and Canada.
“Our Chamber has supported this initiative for the past ten years and we are pleased to see that the permits have now been approved and that the construction of the New International Trade Crossing can begin,” stated Bob Malcolmson. “We applaud all levels of government for their continued and unrelenting advancement of this important initiative.”
Currently, there is approximately $120-billion in annual Canada-U.S. trade that crosses the Detroit River. A new Windsor-Detroit Bridge would not only help facilitate current trade with the U.S., but also expand it as well. The project could create approximately 8,000 direct and spin-off jobs during construction, which could start within a year and be finished within five. The project is expected to cost $1 billion and the Canadian Government will be providing funding of $550 million towards the project. The loans provided by the Government will be repaid through bridge tolls.
This investment in infrastructure and a new Windsor-Detroit bridge was a key priority of the federal government, the Canadian Automotive Partnership Council, the Ontario Chambers of Commerce and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “The importance of this announcement to Oshawa cannot be understated, and I could not be more pleased that President Obama has officially signed off on this project,” stated Colin Carrie, MP Oshawa.