The Harper government is trying to accelerate the political process by exempting the new Windsor-Detroit bridge from major Canadian environmental laws.

On Thursday the Conservatives introduced the Bridge to Strengthen Trade Act as a part of the omnibus budget bill tabled in the House of Commons.

Once passed, bridge construction would be immune to laws governing permits, approvals and authorizations, including the Environmental Assessment Act and the Species at Risk Act.

Essex Conservative MP Jeff Watson said the omnibus bill indicates the importance the government is placing on the Detroit River International Crossing project.

Watson said an environmental assessment has already been complete on the new bridge.

"This is not about environmental issues," said Watson. "This is about any future permitting processes [that will] keep the construction from moving ahead."

NDP border critic and Windsor-West MP Brian Masse said he's worried about the implications of ignoring such important legislation.

"My concern is what we're doing is changing the rules at halftime [making] things more uncertain and we should be making sure that we actually live up to our environmental legislation," said Masse. "We want a bridge of course, but we want it to be a good one and good for the environment."

Masse wonders what precedent this sets for future infrastructure projects, including bridges and pipelines.

"The process that we currently have is proven to be successful," said Masse. "It's proven to be beneficial for the City of Windsor and Essex County and it's proven to be successful for the country in getting the job done. Why would we deviate from that, I have no idea."

Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel (Matty) Moroun is spending millions of dollars trying to persuade Michigan residents to vote in favour of Proposal 6, which would require any new crossing to be approved by the majority of Michiganders.

Transportation Minister Denis Lebel said the government wants to advance construction of the new crossing as quickly as possible.

Work crews are already building the $1.4-billion Windsor-Essex Parkway. It's a multi-lane highway that will link the new crossing to Highway 401, which has been subject to environmental and endangered species laws.

An estimated 8,000 commercial trucks and $2-billion worth of goods cross The Ambassador Bridge every day.