ST. PETER’S: Today the Government of Canada, along with community members from St. Peter’s and Potlotek First Nation, officially re-opened the new two-lane swing bridge at St. Peters Canal National Historic Site.

Rodger Cuzner, MP for Cape Breton-Canso and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna.

“As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation, the Government of Canada is proud to invest in the protection and presentation of St. Peters Canal National Historic Site with the replacement of the St. Peter’s Swing Bridge,” Cuzner said in a press release. “Through infrastructure investments at Parks Canada’s places, we are creating middle class jobs and driving economic activity while ensuring high-quality and meaningful visitor experiences for years to come.

“Working in partnership with the local Mi’kmaw community, new interpretive opportunities at this site will encourage the creation of new connections between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians and foster discussions on the histories, cultures, and realities of Indigenous communities.”

This ceremony marks the completion of a more than $16 million federal infrastructure investment project to replace the swing bridge. Public Services and Procurement Canada managed the project on behalf of Parks Canada. In 2016, work on the bridge began and included road realignment, widening from a one-lane to a two-lane bridge, an updated pedestrian walkway, and new signage. The completion of this project marks the end of a 14-month construction period.

As part of this project, new interpretive panels are currently being designed which will allow Canadians and visitors to better understand the cultures and histories of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. These panels are being developed in collaboration with Potlotek First Nation and will highlight elements of the region’s history and culture.