Harper government to enhance efficiency of Lacolle Border Crossing - Improvements to make travel and trade more efficient, building on the new Building Canada Plan

BOUCHERVILLE, QC, March 27, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, today announced significant federal funding to expand and modernize the Lacolle Border Crossing.

"The Government of Canada is proud to invest up to $47 million in important infrastructure improvements to the Lacolle Border Crossing, which will have a significant impact for Quebec and will facilitate the safe, secure and efficient movement of people and trade between Canada and the U.S.," said Minister Lebel. "With the new Building Canada Plan, our government is delivering the largest investment in infrastructure in Canadian history through Economic Action Plan 2013, investments that create jobs and economic growth, and provide a high quality of life for families in every city and community across the country."

Critical for Canada-U.S. trade, the Lacolle, Quebec-Champlain, New York border crossing saw over $21 billion in two-way trade in 2012. Lacolle is an equally important crossing for travellers, with more than 780,000 cars and buses entering Canada through this point last year.

"The redevelopment project at Lacolle provides an opportunity to expedite the flow of traffic through the border by expanding and modernizing the current infrastructure," added Minister Lebel. "This announcement follows through on commitments in the Beyond the Border Action Plan announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Barack Obama in December 2011."

The Government of Canada has allocated new funding for the Lacolle improvements in Budget 2013. Funding will flow through the Gateways and Border Crossings Fund. The $2.1-billion Gateways and Border Crossings Fund (GBCF) is a program used to improve the flow of goods and people between Canada and the rest of the world. GBCF infrastructure funding targets projects that increase the productivity and efficiency of strategic transportation assets of national significance, such as bridges, roads and ports, which are part of international gateways, strategic trade corridors and key land border crossings.

This initiative adds to the government's unprecedented investments in infrastructure, announced in Canada's Economic Action Plan 2013. The government is delivering the new Building Canada plan to construct roads, bridges, subways, commuter rail, and other public infrastructure in cooperation with provinces, territories, and municipalities. Combined with other federal infrastructure investments, it supports Canada's infrastructure advantage, a key enabler of economic growth and job creation. Since 2006, the federal government has made unprecedented investments in over 43,000 projects to build roads, bridges, commuter rail and other important public infrastructure.

The project is among key border crossings identified in the Beyond the Border Action Plan which was established with the United States to enhance our mutual security, prosperity and economic competitiveness. The action plan focuses on four areas:  addressing threats early; facilitating trade, economic growth and jobs; integrating cross border law enforcement; and strengthening critical infrastructure and cyber security.


Backgrounder


Beyond the Border Action Plan- Lacolle Border Crossing Project

The Lacolle Port of Entry, located in Quebec, was designated as a priority border crossing in the Beyond the Border Action Plan initiative focused on border infrastructure. The Beyond the Border Action Plan was released by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Barack Obama in December 2011 and outlines initiatives to improve the ability to manage security risks in both countries while reducing the burden on business. The action plan focuses on four areas:  addressing threats early; facilitating trade, economic growth and jobs; integrating cross border law enforcement; and strengthening critical infrastructure and cyber security.

In addition to increasing the number of Primary Inspection Lanes, the project will allow for the modernization of the bus processing facilities and an expansion and renovation of the complete port infrastructure. This will enable the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) to process travellers more efficiently, better meet our border wait time standard and better enable officers to perform effective secondary examinations, which will reduce the risk of contraband activities, revenue evasion and illegal immigration. Lacolle currently has nine traveller lanes - eight regular lanes and one NEXUS lane. As a result of this investment, the Port of Entry will expand to 15 Traveller lanes - 13 regular lanes and two NEXUS lanes.  This project is expected to start in 2013 and to take approximately three years to complete.

Under the Beyond the Border Action Plan, Canada and the U.S. agreed to make significant infrastructure upgrades at key border crossings to facilitate trade and travel, thereby creating jobs and supporting growth and prosperity. The Government of Canada has allocated $47 million in new fuding for the Lacolle improvements as part of Beyond the Border Action Plan funding in Economic Action Plan 2012. Funding will flow through the Gateways and Border Crossings Fund. To date, the Government of Canada has dedicated over $2.1 billion under the Fund to ensure the efficient flow of goods and people between Canada and the rest of the world.

This project is the latest in a series of investments made in relation to this Quebec border crossing. In 2006, the Governments of Canada and Québec spent over $86 million on improvements to Highway 15 leading to the port of entry, a new commercial vehicle safety inspection station, and intelligent transportation systems.  Likewise, in 2009, the U.S. spent $90 million redeveloping the adjacent port of entry at Champlain, New York.

Further details on the Beyond the Border Action Plan can be found at www.actionplan.gc.ca/border.


Backgrounder


New Building Canada Plan 2013

Investments in Canada's public infrastructure create jobs, economic growth and provide a high quality of life for families in every city and community across the country.

Since 2006, our Government has made unprecedented investments in over 43,000 projects to build roads, bridges, commuter rail and other important public infrastructure.

As a result of our investments, we have brought the average age of Canada's core public infrastructure down from a peak of 17 years in 2001 to an estimated 14.4 years in 2011. It is now lower than the historical average over the last 50 years.

Economic Action Plan 2013 builds on our investments and announces a new Building Canada plan - the largest investment in job-creating infrastructure in Canadian history.

The new Building Canada plan has three main components:

  • Community Improvement Fund - $32.2 billion consisting of an indexed Gas Tax Fund and the increased GST Rebate for Municipalities to build roads, public transit, recreational facilities and other community infrastructure across Canada that will improve the quality of life of Canadian families.

  • New Building Canada Fund - $14 billion to support infrastructure projects of national, regional and local significance.

  • Renewed P3 Canada Fund - $1.25 billion to continue finding innovative ways to build infrastructure projects faster and provide better value for Canadian taxpayers through public-private partnerships.



In addition, $6 billion in federal support will be provided to provinces, territories and municipalities under current infrastructure programs in 2014-15 and beyond.

Over the next 10 years, the Government will also make significant investments in First Nations infrastructure and in federal assets.

  • Approximately $7 billion over 10 years in First Nations infrastructure such as roads, bridges, energy systems and other First Nations infrastructure priorities.

  • Over $10 billion in investments in federal infrastructure assets, including bridges, fishing harbours, ports, military bases and departmental accommodations across the country.

Overall, the new Building Canada plan, combined with other federal infrastructure investments will result in $70 billion in federal infrastructure funding over 10 years, the largest federal investment in job-creating infrastructure in Canadian history.



The Government of Canada investments in the Greater Montreal Area

Since 2006, the Government of Canada has invested more than $7 billion in infrastructure funding for the Province of Quebec, including more than $2.5 billion for the Greater Montreal Area. Here are some examples:

  • Lachine Train Maintenance Centre ($25 million)

  • Montreal Museum of Fine Arts ($13 million)

  • Outremont Rail Switching Yard Redevelopment ($30 million)

  • Quartier des spectacles ($40 million)

  • Autoroute 30 ($704.5 million)

All told, the Government of Canada has made unprecedented infrastructure investments across the country since 2006. Economic Action Plan 2013 provides a new long-term commitment to strengthen public infrastructure in Canada for years to come.



A new bridge for the St. Lawrence

The Government of Canada is building a new bridge corridor to replace the existing Champlain Bridge in Montreal. It will span the St. Lawrence River to connect the Island of Montreal to the South Shore. This is the busiest crossing in Canada for cars, trucks and buses, and is vital to the regional and national economies.

SOURCE: Transport Canada

For further information:

Geneviève Sicard
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
Ottawa
613-991-0700

Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to e-news or stay connected through RSSTwitterFacebookYouTube and Flickr to keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada.

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