MASSE IN THE HOUSE: Questioning Harper Government on Bad Border Deal

Canadians Paying for US Customs Plaza

    Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP): Mr. Speaker, as a city councillor and MP, I have been advocating for a new border crossing for the Windsor-Detroit corridor. This is crucial for the economy and prosperity for both Canada and the united States, but the current government has negotiated such a poor deal, Canada has to front nearly $1 billion and pay for both countries. Despite a U.S. federal budget of roughly $3.5 trillion, the Conservatives could not even get the United States to pay for their own customs plaza, leaving it all up to Canadians.

    This is more ongoing infrastructure incompetence. How did it come to this?

    Mr. Jeff Watson (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, CPC): Mr. Speaker, if the member wants to actually support the Detroit River International Crossing, he should try voting for it for once in this house. Appropriation after appropriation put forward to make this project a reality, to create 10,000 construction jobs, to use Canadian steel in this project, and the member stands every time to oppose it.

    He should get on board and he should be ashamed of his record.

    Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I am proud of my record, because I voted against bad budgets that left Canadians behind.

    The Conservatives are making it up as they go along. The member said that: “We are not paying for a U.S. customs plaza”.

    These are his own words—eat them now.

    The Prime Minister's press release said the U.S. plaza is “...the responsibility of the U.S. government”.

    Since Canadians have become the sole financier of the project, will the minister come clean and tell Canadians how this will affect tolls? Will Canadians get their money back with interest, and how long will that take?

    Mr. Jeff Watson (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the member knows that discussions with our American partners on their investment on this border crossing continues.

    However, make no mistake, with every single budget we have put forward with investment to create 10,000 construction jobs, to move the auto industry forward, to ensure that the steel industry gets its steel used in this particular project, everything supporting jobs and growth for Windsor, that member votes against it. He should be ashamed and voters will tell him so in the next election.