Letters: Build it, and jobs will come

Detroit Free Press

The case for the New International Trade Crossing as the economic development project of our lifetimes is crystal clear and receives strong support from business, labor and local government leaders throughout southeast Michigan.

A new bridge means thousands of jobs now and into the future. It positions Detroit as an international gateway. Owned by the government but privately built and operated, it will be a model of public/private partnership. This second span provides safety through redundancy and more efficient travel options for commerce and tourism. Freeway-to-freeway access will speed delivery times, giving the resurging auto industry a boost, and providing the opportunity to increase exports and trade with our largest trading partner.

Through the Canadian government’s generosity and foresight, Michigan taxpayers will bear no cost for the project, but our state will share equally in authority and benefit for generations to come.

We commend Gov. Rick Snyder and Prime Minister Stephen Harper for showing great leadership and vision and recommend moving forward with all haste. We believe that this critical project will provide an immeasurable return on investment in progress, economic growth and prosperity for our region and state.

Paul E. Tait
Executive director, Southeast Michigan Council of Governments President, Metropolitan Affairs Coalition
A lesson from Canada

Thank you for last Sunday’s thoughtful editorial, “Why Canada believes in Michigan.” Let me add one more thing Canada believes that we in the states seem to have forgotten: that government has an important role to play in people’s lives and investing in our nation’s future.

Giving across-the-board tax cuts to business is not a plan for investing in the future. Businesses are concerned with achieving the greatest return on investment for their stockholders. They tend not to look out for the common good. That is government’s role.

But electing public officials who are more concerned with forcing their morality on others does not lead to a government concerned with big-picture issues, such as investing in the future. Likewise, electing public officials who are philosophically opposed to government does not lead to the kind of leadership conservatives in Canada showed in moving the U.S.-Canada bridge plan forward.

Sam Stark
Southfield

Foolish opposition

The folly of the Michigan State House Republicans needs to stop now before it is too late. The legality of the agreement Gov. Snyder has struck with Canada for the new border crossing is clear and indisputable under the state Constitution. Instead, they are intent on their own self-destruction.

By attacking the governor as overreaching and violating democratic principles, they are handing campaign gold over to the Democrats this fall. House Republicans are not only hurting themselves, they are hurting their own presidential nominee, the eventual Republican Senate nominee, and their U.S. representative delegation, many of whom face tough races this fall.

Kevin Knight
West Branch

Make it a special bridge

The bridge between Detroit and Windsor should be built for economic reasons and as a tourist attraction. It is needed to help with the flow of goods and people between two great, peaceful nations. It could become a spectacular symbol for our region, like the Bay Bridge in San Francisco or the Arch in St. Louis, drawing visitors to our area.

It could become an international destination not only for motor traffic but for pedestrians. While traveling in Turkey, I walked a bridge in Istanbul with motor traffic above us while we ate on a level with shops and restaurants, watching the boat traffic below us. Our bridge could be special like so many others –from Sydney, Australia, to Prague, Czech Republic. Let’s build it and call it the Friendship Bridge.

Walter Dickinson
Livonia

Get full story on petitionsMy wife and I spent a great weekend in Canton at the annual Liberty Fest. It was well attended and very enjoyable. The only downside was that I was approached by two different individuals who asked us to sign a petition to stop the state from increasing taxes to spend on non-approved projects. They explained it twice to me.

I then asked if this was in regards to the new bridge, at which time they said it was. Neither one knew of the $60 million collected by the bridge annually in tolls or the amount of money made at the duty-free gas pumps. In fact, one man was from Los Angeles. He came here to work and get paid to collect signatures, even though he did not know any background.

I hope all Michiganders are aware of what one company can do controlling an international crossing.

Hal Pinch
Kingsville

Petitions against progress

Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel (Matty) Moroun is working on a petition drive to stop Gov. Snyder’s bridge deal, which is, in effect, spending money to stop Michigan progress. When greed and self-interests come first, as opposed to progress, it is a sorry day for Michigan and the unemployed. Shame on the legislators who voted against the bridge so they could covet political donations.

Thomas W. Heikkinen
Jackson

Petition for the train depot

It is amazing how much Matty Moroun will spend to get his way, as though his way is the only way. Does he do anything else with his money? Why don’t we start a petition drive to get our say over what he does with the Michigan Central train depot? With all the money he has spent on those suckers in Lansing, he could tear down the old one or, for a lot less, he could restore the existing one.

Robert J. Shoens
Northville

Economic benefits

This is one more shot in the arm, along with the recovery of the auto industry, that the state of Michigan and the city of Detroit need. With people employed, this will mean more tax dollars going to the state, city and southeast Michigan. This also means people will be able to pay their mortgage, thereby avoiding foreclosure, and to send their children to college. This will also have a positive economic effect on Canada.

Thomas A. Wilson Jr.
Detroit

Local work only

The new bridge should be built only if the design and engineering work and all materials come from the U.S. and Canada. It is time for both Canadian and American citizens, including Prime Minister Harper and Gov. Snyder, to stand up and demand that we start building up our own economies.

Don Siefkes
Sterling Heights

Lansing obstructionists

With almost all affected parties in favor of this bridge deal and the much needed economic expansion it will bring, one has to wonder why this has taken so long.

It should be obvious to anyone watching that, of those elected and sent to Lansing, only the Republican legislators have objected to a new bridge. It should also be obvious that what is important to them are not Michigan and its citizens, but a billionaire bridge owner in Detroit. So I hope they are happy that they were able to buy this billionaire a few more years of his monopoly in Detroit at the expense of Michigan workers.

The new bridge could be close to completion, if not already finished, had it not been for these obstructionists. Thousands could have been working building and preparing to run the bridge, with thousands more working on surrounding projects. Perhaps Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel Moroun should have been buying land downriver instead of buying Republican legislators.

Chuck Tindall
Novi

Greedy Moroun

It seems that Matty Moroun is intent on bringing this whole agreement down. How can one feeble-looking man with billions of dollars try to bring a prime minister, a governor, two mayors and countless business and civic leaders to their knees with lawsuits to stop an international project worth millions of dollars and countless jobs because of his selfish, greedy love of money?

Anybody who lives in this region knows he is a slumlord who won’t get rid of his eyesore building in Detroit. He must be giving tons of money to the spineless cowards in Lansing to block the bridge and let that decayed old trash heap stay in the Detroit skyline.

Christopher Kole
Royal Oak