Masse Chasing Answers On Ambassador Bridge Announcement

Windsor West MP Brian Masse is on a mission for answers on the federal government's decision to sign off on a new crossing to replace the Ambassador Bridge.

The New Democrat led a town hall meeting on Wednesday at the Fogolar Furlan Club in Windsor to hear questions from the public to bring back to Parliament Hill.

Much of the concern regarding the new bridge centred on home values, expropriation and traffic impacts.

Masse sees the approval as fishy.

"Basically, it's half a billion dollars at the very minimum, it's a new border crossing next to the most important one between our trading partner, the United States, and I've seen them come down here to re-announce a [Veterans Affairs office re-opening] meanwhile they don't want to be available even for comment on this one," says Masse.

He says the surprise decision made by cabinet is now law, but it's important to keep pushing to ensure proper process is followed and residents in Windsor — and more specifically Sandwich Town — are looked after.

Roger Sadler is one of about 200 people who attended the town hall and feels the federal government has some explaining to do.

"The remarks that Brian Masse made about not passing the sniff test — there was something rather strange went on with the urgency that they seem to have approved this new process," says Sadler.

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Windsor West MP Brian Masse holds a public town hall in regards to the announcement of a new span to replace the Ambassador Bridge on September 13, 2017. (Photo by Ricardo Veneza)

Masse says the Trudeau government has been far from open and transparent on the issue.

"Transport Canada has been abusive in this process, is the only thing I can say," says Masse. "Doing this through a press release, not being available to answer questions to the press and also to the public, not sending a representative."

Masse also addressed a question about the reported firing of the head of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority in charge of building the Gordie Howe International Bridge and says he's frustrated by the communication coming out of the office and hasn't been given a clear response.

Sadler says residents deserve more information on the new bridge and what it means for the area.

"There's just far too many questions that haven't been answered and that they have to start — [Brian Masse] keeps mentioning starting his own process of finding out answers — and I think that's what it's all about, you've got to start some place. We've been by-passed up 'til now," says Sadler.

Masse adds he's heard back from Minister of Transportation Marc Garneau's office pointing to the decision as a regional issue.