Canadian government may pass legislation to protect New International Trade Crossing project

By Paul Egan
Detroit Free Press Lansing Bureau

LANSING – The Canadian government may pass legislation to protect the New International Trade Crossing project from legal action by the owners of the Ambassador Bridge, a Toronto newspaper reported today.

The Globe and Mail, quoting from briefing notes prepared for Canadian Transport Minister Denis Lebel, said an act of Parliament might be needed to prevent delays from Manuel “Matty” Moroun, who owns the Ambassador and opposes construction of a public bridge across the Detroit River about two miles downstream.

“There is a risk that legal challenges launched by the Ambassador Bridge could delay the … project or, in the worst case, they could prevent the project from proceeding,” the newspaper quoted the briefing notes as saying.

“To avoid further delays to the project, Transport Canada is actively examining, with other departments, the option of an act of Parliament to enable the construction” and “exempt the project from specific laws under which permits or approvals are required to implement the project.

“In essence, such an act could allow the project to proceed while quashing current legal challenges and preventing any future challenges to Canada.”

An Ambassador Bridge spokesman was not immediately available for comment this morning.

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