Mr. Speaker, indeed our government recognizes the importance of ensuring a continued flow of trade and travellers between Windsor and Detroit. It is one of Canada's most important Canada–U.S.A. border crossings, and I know the hon. member shares that same priority.
I welcome this opportunity to provide Canadians with further information about the application by the owners of the Ambassador Bridge to build a replacement bridge and expanded customs plaza and about our government's decision to approve the construction, subject to terms and conditions. This border crossing is important to the economic well-being of the local community, particularly to the automotive industry, and for daily commuter traffic between Windsor and Detroit.
The International Bridges and Tunnels Act enables the Government of Canada to help protect the safety, security, and efficiency of these vital trade links. Under the International Bridges and Tunnels Act, an application must be submitted to the Minister of Transport to request approval for the alteration, construction, or operation of an international bridge.
Our review and assessment of the application for the construction of a replacement bridge included significant consultations, including a 60-day public consultation undertaken by Transport Canada. Over 400 submissions were received, and the results of these consultations were published on Transport Canada's website.
All information gathered as part of this process informed our government's decision. Indeed, the terms and conditions attached to the approval were established to, among other things, mitigate the safety and security risks and the impacts on the local community and the environment that could be caused by the construction and operation of the project. The conditions of the approval include dismantling the existing bridge when the replacement bridge is open, improving local infrastructure, creating new public green spaces, protecting the environment, and considering indigenous interests.
Our government has always maintained that this critical trade corridor needs two viable commercial bridge border crossings to provide sufficient capacity and redundancy to support the safe and efficient movement of people and goods through the Windsor–Detroit corridor. We are committed to moving forward expeditiously with the Gordie Howe international bridge project. Having the Gordie Howe international bridge and a fully functioning Ambassador Bridge will enhance capacity and reliability at Canada's busiest commercial crossing.