Masse Questions Minister of Transport on the Border Options

Hansard – April 18, 2008


Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP): Mr. Speaker, despite years of delay we are finally getting down to selecting a new border crossing in Windsor.

The government has three proposals on the table that cross the Detroit River. One of those proposals will require bulldozing through a historic community called Old Sandwich Towne, the oldest European settlement west of Montreal.

Another proposal will also require bulldozing of forests next to a spring garden ANSI of significance for the environment.

Will the minister reject those two proposals and support a crossing that protects Sandwich Towne and the environment?

Hon. Lawrence Cannon (Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, CPC): First of all, Mr. Speaker, I will do no such thing. As the hon. member knows, this process has been ongoing for a number of years now. There has been an organization that has been put in place. It has looked at different alternatives. It looked at a number of options.

As we know, and I will repeat this in the House, this is the most important border crossing between Canada and the United States. This government is committed to making sure that that gateway is maintained and continues to progress.

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP): Mr. Speaker, but it will be a cabinet decision at the end of the day and the minister has the power to do the right thing.

We are calling upon him from my community to protect the children, to protect the environment and to protect Sandwich Towne which is an area of historic significance and we do not take it lightly.

This is an opportunity to do the right thing for the community. There has been a long history of bad mistakes on the border. It is time to clean it up and do it right. This minister has to take his responsibility seriously, show some leadership and make sure we do it right this time.

Hon. Lawrence Cannon (Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, CPC): Mr. Speaker, this question from my colleague is somewhat premature. He knows full well that everything has been put in place, every action has been taken, every rule and regulation will be followed and everybody's concerns will be met with.