The Gordie Howe International Bridge (GHIB) is a generational infrastructure project for Windsor Essex County with a Community Benefit Plan. A Legacy Fund ensures that the Community Benefits continue for the lifespan of the Bridge.
After years of advocacy, the voices of Windsor-Essex residents were reflected in the Community Benefits announcement from the Gordie Howe International Bridge on June 14, 2019. The Windsor/Essex Community Benefits Coalition celebrates the wins for the community and calls for the success to continue via a Legacy Fund.
Thousands of Windsor-Essex residents have participated in consultations and engagement regarding the Gordie Howe International Bridge Community Benefits process. Since 2017, the Coalition has brought neighbours, stakeholders, and labour together around this $5.7 billion dollar infrastructure project.
Building on the success of the Gordie Howe International Bridge’s Community Benefits Package, the Coalition calls on the Ministry of Infrastructure and Communities to create a Legacy Fund.
The current Community Benefits package extends $10 million dollars over five years.
The Gordie Howe bridge will remain in the community for at least one hundred years.
What is a Legacy Fund?
A foundational element of this community benefit program is ensuring that the community benefits provided by this project and any unforeseen impacts of the Gordie Howe International Bridge are mitigated. The WDBA has stated that they will be a part of the Windsor-Essex community so long as the Gordie Howe International Bridge exists, and that their responsibility is to oversee the bridge’s operations into the future.
To ensure that all impacts and benefits are guaranteed into the future and that the community has the fiscal capacity to maintain the provided benefits without undue burden on existing funds, a legacy fund must be established.
This fund would work in concert with existing community funders to fund projects and/or groups to carry out activities or programs that align with community priorities. This legacy fund would also enable supports to be created for any unintended consequences of the Gordie Howe International Bridge project that emerge over time or to adapt to shifting priorities and needs as time passes. This fund would be sustained over the longterm by applying a percentage of annual toll revenue
- Fund would be supported through a percentage of toll revenue that is allocated each year to ensure its sustainability.
- Fund can be used to ensure that initial community benefits are sustained and maintained in the community so undue burden isn’t passed on to the community.
- Fund needs to be reactive to community input and needs as they change over time.
- Fund would support organizations and programs across the region with grants that align with the WDBA future vision for community engagement and community priorities.
Our Organizational Partners
SouthWest Detroit Community Benefits Coalition