MASSE ON NAMING NEW CROSSING: ENGAGE THE PUBLIC

Bi-national public naming process appropriately reflects Canada-US partnership

 [WINDSOR ON] Brian Masse M.P. (Windsor West) and NDP Border Critic wants the public in both Canada and the United States to have input into the naming of the new crossing connecting Windsor-Detroit.  Masse has written the Minister of Transport Denis Lebel, U.S. Transport Secretary Ray Lahood and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder urging them to work toward creating a bi-national process that engages the public to come up with a name for the new crossing.

 Masse talked about why the public should be consulted to name the new crossing: “This new crossing is coming to fruition after years of work from the people in the community in both Canada and the United States.  We’ve struggled to make the point that this region desperately needs additional border capacity to adequately meet the needs of the North American economy.  The recent decisive results of the referendum in Michigan on Proposal 6 and the over-arching consensus we’ve achieved here demonstrate how effective those efforts have been.  I believe that to acknowledge those contributions the public should be at the forefront of developing a name for this infrastructure that will play such a critical role in our future prosperity.”

 In addition to raising this idea with Minister Lebel, Masse’s office has raised this issue with the representative in the United States Congressman Gary Peters who represents the district where the new crossing will land on the U.S. side.

 “Thus far I am finding that people are open to this idea.  There’s a general acceptance that the public has played a central role building the case for this project and developing the complexion of the new crossing.  In fact the public remains engaged to this day on a range of different issues connected to this crossing.  Putting the people at the centre of naming this new infrastructure is consistent with the process that we’ve followed throughout.” Masse said.

Recently the Scottish government developed a public process to name a new crossing over the River Forth.  The crossing will be the largest infrastructure project in a generation in Scotland and is scheduled to come on-line in 2016.  The public engagement process has been very successful eliciting over 6000 submissions thus far.