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For release - January 22, 2012
MONTREAL — Today, the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, provided updates regarding construction of the new bridge for the St. Lawrence in Montreal. Minister Lebel officially launched the federal environmental assessment phase of the project to build the new bridge.
"This construction of the new bridge will create jobs and is necessary for our country's economic viability," said Minister Lebel. "Today, I am pleased to officially launch the environmental assessment for this project, an essential part of the planning process for the new bridge. Meanwhile, we will continue to ensure the safety of this vital crossing."
The Harper government remains focused on the economy. With an estimated $20 billion worth of international trade crossing the bridge annually, this corridor is important for the regional economy and also benefits the national economy.
An environmental assessment consists of environmental and technical work to allow decisions on the design of a new bridge to be taken in an environmentally responsible manner. Alternative solutions will be studied and recommendations will be made to mitigate environmental and community effects. Transport Canada is leading the work program and the environmental assessment for the project. The public, local advisory councils, the private sector and community groups will have the opportunity to participate and comment throughout the environmental assessment phase.
Minister Lebel highlighted that the environmental assessment will provide an opportunity to continue close collaboration with key stakeholders. "As part of the federal environmental assessment, we will continue to collaborate with many federal departments, the Ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement et des Parcs du Québec, the Ministère des Transports du Québec and the municipalities. We will also have discussions with representatives from First Nations communities."
The government has also invested in the safety and security of the Champlain Bridge. Since 2009, investments totalling $380 million will continue to keep this important bridge safe until the new crosing is complete.
Updates on progress and consultation activities will be provided throughout the planning and construction phase. The Notice of Commencement of an Environmental Assessment is available online at www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca/050/Viewer_e.cfm?CEAR_ID=65574.
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