Prime Minister Trudeau announces full construction on the Gordie Howe International Bridge
Thank you, everyone. Good morning. Thank you for being here. Thank you François-Philippe for the warm welcome.
And thank you to elder Eric Isaac for your warm welcome, for your blessing and for welcoming us onto traditional territory. It’s always a pleasure to be back in Windsor. Today, I’m happy to be here amongst friends and colleagues, including Ambassador MacNaughton, Minister Champagne and others to celebrate an important moment for the people of Windsor and indeed for the people of Canada. I want to highlight all our American friends who are here today, particularly Governor Rick Snyder. Thank you for your leadership. Thank you for your service. Thank you for your very kind words.
Today we begin full construction on the Gordie Howe International Bridge. Named after a Canadian legend and an honorary son of Detroit, this bridge is a vital two-and-a-half kilometre artery that will connect Windsor and Detroit and allow for an increased flow of people and goods between Canada and the United States. We are incredibly proud to support this essential project.
After all, when this government was formed, we promised record investments in Canadian infrastructure. And we have worked hard to give all Canadians better highways, bridges and public transportation systems, because that is how we prepare communities for the future.
The Gordie Howe International Bridge is a massive, ambitious infrastructure project that will create thousands of good jobs for tradespeople, designers and engineers alike, including by the time they graduate these young students behind me. With an opening slated for the end of 2024, this bridge will be an economic boon to the City of Windsor and neighbouring communities, providing economic activity and growth for many years. Once it’s up and running, this project will provide even more good middle-class jobs for local workers on the operational side, supporting the constant flow of traffic across the Canada-US border.
The increased capacity at this crucial trade terminal is essential. After all, the Windsor-Detroit corridor facilitates almost a quarter of all trade between Canada and the US with approximately 7,000 commercial vehicles crossing here every single day. It’s vitally important that two-way trade at this point runs as effectively and efficiently as possible. This project and what it will achieve was of course important last week. But it’s even more important this week. After all, this week Canada reached an agreement in principle on an updated and modernized trade pact with the United States and Mexico, the USMCA. This new agreement makes real progress for middle class workers, businesses and families in all three countries and when enacted will create even more jobs and opportunities for people in Windsor and right across the country.
And so, I’m confident that integrated two-way trade between Windsor and Detroit will only increase from here, which is a great thing for local communities and the national economy. Shorter travel times, more efficient supply chains and better access to the US market for Canadian businesses, the Gordie Howe International Bridge has been a long time coming.
Several former prime ministers have advanced this project over the years, and today I am happy to be here to celebrate the fact that after nearly 20 years of hard work and determination, the project will finally be realized.
And on that note, there are many people I want to acknowledge for bringing us to this point. First of all, thank you to Dwight Duncan of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority for your tireless work on this file over the years. Thank you also to the many Canadian and American corporations forming Bridging North America. Together these two organizations have successfully demonstrated that government and business can work together to get big things done.
Thanks also to the Ontario government, which has supported this project for many years, and a special thanks to Governor Rick Snyder who has been a true champion for this project throughout his time in office. And finally, thank you to the mayors of Windsor and Detroit, Drew Dilkens and Mike Duggan.
My friends, this is a terrific day for the people of Canada. We’re bringing good jobs to southern Ontario and making our trade networks better than ever before. The Gordie Howe International Bridge is just the latest example of what happens when all orders of government work together with support from the private sector to strengthen and grow our communities.
Today, we are investing in the future of Canadian workers and families. I look forward to the months and years to come, when we will continue to build a stronger and more prosperous country that will benefit the middle class and those working hard to join it.