07/14/2011 02:59 EDT | Updated 09/13/2011 05:12 EDT

Bob Rae Says Montreal Champlain Bridge To Become International Issue


THE CANADIAN PRESS -- MONTREAL - The federal Liberal party says uncertainty around the future of Montreal's decrepit Champlain Bridge is quickly going to become an international issue.

Liberal interim leader Bob Rae says the country's busiest bridge is an economic artery between Canada and the United States.

Recent engineering reports say the deteriorating, federally managed span is at risk of collapse and must be replaced soon.

Speaking in Montreal today, Rae said the federal government should be more transparent about the safety of the Champlain.

The Liberals are also calling for parliamentary hearings into the bridge's refurbishment.

Rae's remarks come one day after the Conservatives released a report on the span that it had previously refused to make public.

The federal transport minister initially said he didn't want to release the document because he thought it might worry people.

But his decision to hold on to it had the opposite effect, forcing him to release it to calm public fears.

Rae says he believes the Tories are sitting on another report about the bridge's condition.