Winsdor truck ferry finds government ally

Windsor, Ont. — The relationship between the federal government and the Detroit-Windsor Truck Ferry is normally on rough waters.

From debates over ice-breaking fees and hazmat rules, the ferry’s operator and Ottawa don’t see eye-to-eye on many issues, but the ferry service may have found an ally.

Brian Masse, MP of Windsor West and NDP Industry, Automotive, and Border Critic, wrote a letter to the Transport Minister John Baird, demanding he intervene and fulfill the federal government’s commitment to fund 50 percent of Windsor Detroit Truck Ferry Improvement project.

“This needed infrastructure enhancement has already received all governmental approvals and permits. Furthermore, the commitment of both the Province of Ontario and Transport Canada to funding this project has been in place for some time on a shared cost basis. This necessary border improvement is by definition shovel-ready,” wrote Masse.

Masse also points out that recent media reports and statements from Transport Canada officials say the federal allotment is going to be $2.9 million, which falls short of the 50 percent federal commitment made at the outset of this project.

The Province of Ontario has reiterated its commitment to fulfill its share which totals $4 million. The ferry improvement project was originally estimated at $6 million and includes a new entrance road, lighting, railway connection, spill containment and shoreline improvements.

“Due to construction schedules as well as weather considerations, commencement of work on this project must begin imminently if completion is to be obtained without any disruption of service,” says Masse.

“The Windsor Detroit Truck Ferry is the only approved border crossing in the Windsor-Detroit gateway for trucks transporting hazardous waste since neither the Ambassador bridge nor the Windsor-Detroit tunnel are authorized for such goods,” he continues.

“Any disruption of service will create backlogs and bottlenecks in the largest trade corridor in the country. If this needed infrastructure upgrade is neglected, the publicly safety and security repercussions for your government would be immeasurable.”

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