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Tobin has a change of heart about border spending

OTTAWA, Ont. -- Industry Minister Brian Tobin was in the hot seat yesterday after proposing border-crossing enhance...


OTTAWA, Ont. — Industry Minister Brian Tobin was in the hot seat yesterday after proposing border-crossing enhancements that his opponents claim will benefit his political backers.

Tobin called for increased infrastructure spending at the Detroit-Windsor border crossing to help solve the backlog there, but it was quickly pointed out by his opponents that his chief financial backer, Steve Hudson, heads a company that is pitching a $400 million truck tunnel under the Detroit River.

The Canadian Alliance voiced suspicion over Tobin’s "sudden interest" in border issues.

"(Does he have) plans to improve spending at all border crossings, or only the ones where Borealis Capital has an interest?" asks a skeptical Alliance MP James Moore, suggesting Tobin’s support of the project is a conflict of interest.

Tobin was quick to defend himself, saying that Boreal has never asked the federal government for any financial help in building the tunnel.

However, Progressive Conservative-Democratic Representative, Deborah Grey, pointed out that shortly beforehand, Tobin was seeking funds for his "pet" Internet project at the expense of border concerns.


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