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June 15, 2012
DRIC Bridge is Chatham-Kent-Essex’s Economic Gateway

Chatham, ON
—“Agriculture, manufacturing and tourism are just three of the major economic jobs engines which will greatly benefit from a new and efficient border access to the US market said Chatham-Essex-Kent MP Dave Van Kesteren today.

“Our region’s economic future means taking advantage of our proximity to the border, and having a border infrastructure which is attractive to potential users.  Put together, we have a recipe for success.  It has been a long, tough haul but we have finally got the agreement.” said Van Kestere

The Harper Government of Canada today finalized an agreement with the state of Michigan to complete a second bridge between Windsor and Detroit.  MP Dave Van Kesteren joined Prime Minister Harper in Windsor for the monumental occasion.  A possible second span has been a topic of discussion for a number of years but not until the HarperConservative Government made it a priority did the project become a reality.

Business leaders from across Chatham-Kent—Essex praised today’s announcement by Van Kesteren as an tremendous economic boost for the area.

“The building of a new bridge at the Windsor-Detroit border is much needed and an infrastructure project that the Chamber has long advocated for enhancing economic opportunities for our province and Canada as a whole.  As the busiest border crossing, and considering our municipal presence along Hwy. 401, this can also provide Chatham-Kent many new opportunities to take advantage of.” – Gail Antaya, President & CEO Chatham-Kent Chamber of Commerce.

“This announcement is great news! Our customers continually look for shorter and shorter lead times from order to delivery. Being able to expedite shipment over the border, avoiding delays, will help us continue to meet those requirements making them more efficient and successful and ultimately US successful.” – Mike Kilby, President of Dajcor Aluminum  Chatham-Kent

"The ability to bring US dollars into our local and Canadian economy is dependent upon dependable and timely access to the US market. A new modern span will be a tremendous new tool to help the $1 billion plus greenhouse industry ensure quality, safety and market responsiveness. We applaud the leadership on both sides of the border, and our Member of Parliament Dave Van Kesteren for making this happen.” – Cole Cacciavillani, Owner of CF Greenhouses Leamington

“This area, probably more so than any other area of Ontario, knows the costs associated with border crossings. Produce is a perishable commodity, which requires controlled temperatures, and timely delivery. Long border wait times means more fuel consumption, which drives up the costs of business. Our producers have to remain competitive with their pricing and back-ups at the border eat into profits. The same goes for tourism. If crossing the border is easy, and hassle-free and quick, we're likely to benefit from Americans returning to rediscover this great area. Add to that the construction jobs a project of this magnitude will produce, and it's a win-win-win situation!”—Sally McDonald, General Manager Leamington and District Chamber of Commerce.

“It is vital for Canada to have corporations that export their products to foreign markets. Nu-Co Plastic employees use the border regularly to meet with our USA customers and we depend on the efficient movements of goods south of the border. The improved access with the new bridge will help my business, ensure job security for my employees, and make Ontario a good place to continue to do business.” - Robert Van Alphen, GM Nu-Co Plastics  Blenheim

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