Canadian Consul General in Detroit lambasts Ambassador Bridge company for telling ‘big lies’

The Windsor Star

Posted by:
Dave Battagello

Roy Norton, Canada’s Consul General at Detroit, blasted the Ambassador Bridge company for what he described as its ongoing campaign of lies during a breakfast meeting hosted by the Detroit Regional Chamber on Tuesday.

The event was part of the chamber’s leadership development program and featured Norton as one of the guest speakers.

Norton criticized media reports last week in Detroit for listing possible use of Chinese steel as being a hurdle delaying final agreement between Michigan and Canada on construction of the $1-billion government backed bridge.

There are issues that have to be ironed out on all materials to be used during construction of the downriver Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) bridge with a preference in Michigan of the majority being domestic, but Norton called the issue of Chinese steel a red herring and “a fiction, a poorly informed report,” according to the Detroit Free Press which attended the meeting.

“Anybody familiar with the discussions knows that there is no such issue as Chinese steel,” Norton was quoted. “Chinese steel is not going to be used in the project.”

Talks are being finalized with the anticipation sometime this month Gov. Rick Snyder and the Canadian government will announce plans for an interlocal agreement to launch long-awaited construction of a new crossing that would link the industrial communities of Brighton Beach and Delray.

Norton then criticized the funding of a deceptive multi-million dollar campaign by the bridge company.

“In the struggle for public opinion, the Ambassador Bridge folks enjoy two comparative advantages,” said Norton, according to the Free Press. “The first is that they’re willing to spend almost any amount of money to sell their case. The second is their willingness to tell lies, not to put too fine a point on it – and not just lies, but big lies.

“Call them Orwellian . . . lies like black is white and white is black.”

The bridge ad campaign has listed costs for the DRIC bridge as being double what is anticipated and also falsely indicated the state’s taxpayers will foot the bill, he said.

“Wrong, completely wrong on both counts,” Norton said.

Canada has offered the state up to $550 million to pay its share of the costs and will recoup the funds through tolls.