The Crossing Agreement signed in 2012 by the Government of Canada and the State of Michigan required the incorporation of a Community Benefits Plan for the Gordie Howe International Bridge project that covers both Canada and Michigan and includes: (A) the manner in which stakeholders and community are to continue to be involved; (B) the manner in which host community input relating to community benefits and stakeholder involvement are to be factored; (C) the manner in which bidders plan to work with local institutes of higher learning, unions and others; and (D) the manner in which job training and local job development will be encouraged.
The vision for Community Benefits on the Gordie Howe International Bridge project is to deliver a series of initiatives, based on public input, that create measurable and positive results-based opportunities for the host communities.
For the Gordie Howe International Bridge project, BridgingNA’s Community Benefits Plan will:
- Provide economic opportunities in the host communities
- Contribute positively to workforce development programs, thereby improving economic inclusion
- Deliver neighbourhood improvements
- Ensure clear commitments and accountability from all parties for its delivery.
It is important that the Community Benefits Plan reflect what our stakeholders have told us is important to them. To help ensure these community priorities are captured, WDBA has developed a guiding framework to support the delivery of the Community Benefits Plan. The Community Benefits Plan shall be based on the following principles, referred to as the Framework:
- Integrated: Community Benefits shall be an integral component of the Project carried out during the construction and operation periods.
- Collaborative: Community Benefits shall reflect the input of the host communities and be delivered through partnerships, ensuring that the interests of the respective communities are taken into account.
- Accessible: Community Benefits shall be easy to understand, easily accessible, regularly measured and publicly reported.
- Regional: Community Benefits shall be reflective of the character of the region, tailored specifically for the region and provide value to the region.
- Enterprising: Community Benefits shall be comprised of new methods, ideas and innovative approaches to engage and benefit the neighbouring communities.