Mr. Speaker, notice was given on Friday, May 31, 1996 to the federal Minister of Public Works and Government Services by the contractor Strait Crossing Incorporated that in one year, on May 31, 1997, the bridge connecting mainland Canada with Prince Edward Island will be officially opened.
This gigantic $800 million project which is a unique public sector-private sector partnership is on schedule and under budget. This in itself is unique for a project of such magnitude. Two thousand, four hundred Canadians work on the job site and 2,000 Canadians work off the job site.
Under P.E.I.'s terms of entry into Confederation in 1873 the Government of Canada was obliged to provide continuous and efficient year-round transportation for people, goods and services between P.E.I. and the mainland. This engineering marvel, a 13 kilometre bridge, will continue to fulfil that agreement. It was made possible by an amendment to the terms of Confederation passed by the federal government in 1993.
It is interesting to note that engineers from all over the world are coming to P.E.I. to study the innovative technology being used to erect the bridge. Hopefully, Canadian engineering students will avail themselves of the opportunity as well.
I invite this House and the people of Canada to come to P.E.I. and view this wonder of the world.