TORONTO, Ont. — The people of Michigan have defeated a ballot proposition that would hold up construction of a second bridge at the Windsor-Detroit border crossing.
Proposal 6 was a proposed constitutional amendment supported by the owners of the private Ambassador Bridge to delay or block the planned New International Trade Crossing (NITC) bridge between Detroit and Windsor.
Ontario Trucking Association president David Bradley has called the vote results “terrific news and shows that the people of Michigan reject the self-interest and cronyism that so many of the state’s legislators have fallen victim to in recent years.”
The OTA says the voters’ defeat of Prop 6 helps clear the path for Gov. Rick Snyder and Canadian officials to proceed with the NITC project unimpeded.
“As has been said so often in the last 12 hours – the people have spoken and the people are always right,” said Bradley. “The people have rejected a proposal that would have denied Michiganders and the people of the entire United States as well as Ontario and Canada the benefits of the most important infrastructure project in years.”
Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, issued a statement, calling the results “good news for travellers, workers and industry on both sides of the border.
“The new bridge will attract new investments and business opportunities to boost our local and national economies and will result in much needed jobs for Ontario and Michigan communities,” he said. “The new crossing will also increase border capacity to handle future trade and travel growth, and will be built with the security of both our countries in mind.”
Bradley, who has been an ardent supporter of a new, publicly-owned bridge for many years credits the efforts of Governor Rick Snyder, and the hard work of a dedicated group private citizens and business groups “in overcoming a campaign against the new bridge which has been founded more on financial might than what is right.”
He also commended the Government of Canada and its officials in the Canadian Consulate in Detroit for its leadership.
Bradley doesn’t expect the battle to be over as NITC may still end up in legal wrangling, but he added, “the only court that truly matters – the court of public opinion – has rendered its decision.”
Alluding to US President Barack Obama’s reelection last night, Lebel noted: “We will continue to work with the Obama Administration and our partners in Ontario and Michigan to obtain the necessary Presidential Permit to allow this important bridge to proceed,” he said. “Together we will get the job done and build a bridge for the future.”