Snyder Heading North Over NITC

MIRS News

Gov. Rick SNYDER is planning to talk to Canadian Transport Minister Denis LEBEL next month about the New International Trade Crossing (NITC).

That’s following the defeat of legislation authorizing the new public-private bridge on Thursday in the Senate Economic Development Committee. Senate Majority Leader Randy RICHARDVILLE (R-Monroe) has said he’s not interested in reviving his bill, SB 0410.

However, the Governor said there needs to be some “breathing room” and is still looking at options.

Snyder also will be giving the keynote address on Nov. 2 in Ottawa at the Canada-U.S. Partnership: Enhancing the Innovation Ecosystem, said Communications Director Geralyn LASHER. The conference also will feature U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Thomas NIDES, Governor General of Canada David JOHNSON, Canadian Ambassador to the United States Gary DOER and U.S. Ambassador to Canada David JACOBSON.

On Friday, Matthew MOROUN, vice chair of the Detroit International Bridge Co. (DIBC), which opposes the NITC, said on WJR-AM that he was extending the olive branch to Snyder. Moroun said he wanted to move ahead and work with the Governor on twinning his Ambassador Bridge.

MIRS asked Lasher about that and she noted that the Canadian government has said the DIBC can’t twin the Ambassador Bridge.

“Regarding Mr. Moroun’s ‘offer,’ I do not think you can really call it that, considering Canadian authorities have told Mr. Moroun numerous times that twinning the Ambassador bridge will not happen because Canada will not give them permission to run these high volumes of traffic through residential areas,” Lasher said.

Lasher reinforced Snyder’s optimism about still getting the public-private bridge, adding that the DIBC “would be welcome to bid on the NITC.”

Prayer Vigil Held Sunday Over Community Benefits

Detroit lawmakers joined on Sunday with the Southwest Detroit Community Benefits Coalition and held a prayer vigil over the New International Trade Crossing (NITC).

Democrats voted “no” on the NITC legislation last week in the Senate Economic Development Committee because it didn’t contain community benefits for the Delray neighborhood. Scheduled to attend the event were Sen. Tupac HUNTER (D-Detroit), Sen. Virgil SMITH (D-Detroit), Rep. Rashida TLAIB (D-Detroit) and Sen. Coleman YOUNG II (D-Detroit).

“We are grateful for both Senators Hunter and Virgil Smith who voted in support of the NITC Bridge with the important community protection,” said Scott BRINES, president of the Southwest Detroit Community Benefits. “We asked and hoped that all senators would vote on this bridge as it if were being put in their own community, with the protections they would want for their families. Our community already suffers multiple pollution burdens from heavy industries and transportation infrastructure that we host for all of Michigan’s benefit.”

Brines also took a whack at the Detroit International Bridge Co. (DIBC):

“The Bridge Company’s multi-million dollar ad campaign has attacked basic community protection from impacts of a new bridge development. That isn’t a surprise given how the Bridge Company does business in our community spreading blight with hundreds of derelict vacant properties that lead to life-threatening fires in our community and more. People across Michigan need to realize that these are not public service announcements, they are million-dollar ads meant to confuse real issues and outdo our democratic process. This manipulation continues to hurt families impacted by the bridge project and those who desperately need the jobs.”