(David Olive – Toronto Star)
In a highly unusual move Friday, Canada and Michigan finally stood up to the litigious billionaire who owns the Ambassador Bridge – the busiest border crossing between the world’s biggest trading partners. They declared they will soon break ground on a second, state-of-the-art span across the Detroit River that will break the 30-year monopoly of the only privately owned major bridge on the continent.
At separate press conferences Friday in Windsor and Detroit, Canada’s Stephen Harper, and Rick Snyder, Republican governor of Michigan, were adamant that an alternative to the ageing, congested Ambassador will proceed, after years of political and legal challenges by Ambassador owner Matty Maroun, to prevent competition to – and, indeed, even regulation of – his obsolete bridge.
“This is a very important mission to accomplish,” said Harper, “that shows our determination to move forward in a difficult economy. It is a gateway into the American heartland that will create jobs the length of the Windsor-Quebec corridor.”
Snyder, also casting the new bridge as an economic stimulus, said of the new span that “Trade demands it, and opportunity to create jobs demands it.” Read more here.