Scottish Government Developed Process That ‘Captured the Imagination’ Of the Public

[WINDSOR] Brian Masse MP (Windsor West) Official Opposition Critic for the Canada/US Border recently met with Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown to discuss the public naming process developed by his government for the new Forth replacement crossing.  The Scottish Government is currently constructing a new bridge over the Forth River billed by the Scottish Government as “the biggest single infrastructure project in Scotland for a generation.”
Masse was interested to find out more about the Scottish government’s approach to naming this infrastructure to see if it may be possible to replicate this process to name the new bridge connecting Windsor-Detroit.  “I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to meet with Minister Brown while he was in Canada to discuss the public naming process developed by his government for the Forth replacement crossing project.  The Scottish government’s model has successfully engaged the public generating thousands of responses; it is my hope that we can develop a similar process for our bridge." Masse said.

Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown talked about the success of the process developed by his government to name the new Forth Replacement Crossing and the benefits of engaging the public in naming a major public infrastructure project. 

Minister Brown explained:  “The Forth Replacement Crossing is an exciting, iconic and economically vital project which has attracted international interest in the naming process.  With their own new bridge across the Canadian-USA border due for completion in 2018, there is Canadian interest in how successful our naming process for the FRC has been in engaging the community and is keen to learn lessons from our experience.” 

Additionally Minister Brown discussed the meeting with Masse: "I was honoured to meet with them this week and share our experiences to date. I was able to talk them through the concept and the practicalities of the naming process, specifically how we have used it to involve the Scottish people in such a significant project, generating over 7,600 suggestions.”

The Minister noted as well the special relationship that has existed historically between Canada and Scotland: "Throughout the history of Canada - through exploration, politics, education, business and literature - you find that Scots and their descendants have played a leading role. I am immensely proud of the work we are doing to deliver this world class 21st century bridge for Scotland and look forward to continuing to share our experience and expertise with our Canadian counterparts.”

NDP Transport Critic Olivia Chow said Masse’s thoroughness is an example of a legislator doing their due diligence in developing public policy: “Brian has taken a great idea to give the public an opportunity to play a role in naming a major infrastructure investment and done the work necessary to operationalize that suggestion.  He’s offering Minister Lebel a model that can generally be applied to the new Windsor-Detroit crossing and I think it represents a tremendous opportunity to continue to build public support for this crucial infrastructure.”

Masse has written Transport Minister Lebel offering to brief him on his meeting with Minister Brown.