Windsor Detroit Bridge: Ambassador Bridge Company Hits Out At ‘Bridge To Strengthen Trade Act’

The Huffington Post Canada
Posted: 10/22/2012 12:25 pm EDT
Updated: 10/22/2012 2:57 pm EDT

The company that owns the busiest border crossing between the U.S. and Canada has struck out at the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and its plans to speed up construction of a new bridge between Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario, calling the proposed Canadian legislation an “anti-American” law.

As part of its omnibus budget bill released last week, the federal government introduced the Bridge to Strengthen Trade Act, which would exempt whoever ultimately builds the new bridge from environmental laws.

The new bridge and any related work would be exempt from the Fisheries Act, the Navigable Waters Protection Act, the Species at Risk Act and large parts of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the Globe and Mail reported.

The Windsor Star reports that the Harper government’s move was designed to “derail the legal delays typically employed by [billionaire Ambassador Bridge owner Matty] Moroun, the Ambassador Bridge and his trucking empire. Together the Moroun group of companies have been waging a multi-year, multimillion-dollar legal and TV advertising campaign to block construction of a competing bridge in the courts.”

In a statement emailed to reporters Monday, the Detroit International Bridge Company (DIBC), owned by Moroun, slammed Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder for “turning a blind eye as Canada attempts to jam through anti-democratic legislation to make the entire project above the law, all in an effort to block an American company from building a new bridge.”

Company president Dan Stamper said in the statement: “Governor Snyder knows he threw American workers under the bus when he gave into Canada’s demand for a Buy America waiver and signed a deal that gives Canada control over most of the jobs and all of the revenue associated with the bridge for the foreseeable future.”

Harper and Snyder signed an agreement this past summer that would see Canada cover the entire $1-billion cost of a new bridge crossing, a move prompted by a lack of funds and a lack of political will in Michigan to build a new bridge. As part of the deal, Canada will recoup the costs of building the bridge through tolls charged in Michigan.

Studies have suggested the project would create thousands of jobs in Michigan, contrary to the DIBC’s claim.

Moroun has been waging a political war to prevent the construction of a new bridge that would threaten profits from his existing Ambassador Bridge crossing.

Moroun is pushing Proposal 6, an initiative on the Michigan ballot this November that would alter the state constitution to require a two-thirds majority in the legislature to approve a new border crossing — essentially making it impossible to approve a new crossing. But opponents of the ballot initiative say it may be pointless, as it wouldn’t apply retroactively to the agreement between Harper and Snyder.

Nonetheless, Moroun has spent some $9 million of his own money to fund ads backing Proposal 6, telling Michigan voters that the bridge would end up costing U.S. taxpayers money, even though Canada has agreed to cover the costs. The ads have been slammed by numerous groups as being misleading.

In his efforts to maintain a for-profit monopoly on the Detroit-Windsor crossing, Moroun has enlisted some powerful allies, including the billionaire Koch Brothers, whose group, Americans for Prosperity, has been campaigning against a publicly-owned new bridge, and Grover Norquist, a famed anti-tax crusader.


Related News On Huffington Post:

Christopher Sands
Christopher Sands: What Delayed the Detroit Bridge? Stubborn Waters

Today Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper comes to Michigan to conclude a deal that will see a new bridge built across the Detroit River. It is the culmination of years of tough negotiations and bickering. Why? After all, Michigan trades more with Canada than any other state.

Around the Web:


More in Canada Business…

continue reading source:

Remember, politics is a contact sport, like hockey, so please feel free to add quick contributions, observations and relevant information as a comment below!

Contact us if you would like to contribute to our collaborative efforts or would like to share/submit articles, data or additional content, feel free to add feedback, additional info, alternative contact details, related links, articles, anonymous submission, etc. as a comment below, via web-form, through social media outlets or email us directly and confidentially at: dumpharper [at] live [dot] ca

This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in an effort to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. and intend its use to be for education and instructional purposes only. Therefore, we believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond “fair use,” you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

ShareAlike Statement:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s