By Lt. Gov. Brian Calley
Michigan voters should be wary of Proposal 6. Not only does it seek to hamper our economic future by stalling the New International Trade Crossing between Detroit and Windsor, but it is so poorly worded that it potentially threatens the construction of any new bridge in the state.
Proposal 6 was drafted and circulated, and is now supported with misleading advertisements, by a single company that is trying to protect its billion-dollar monopoly. Despite the millions of dollars this group spends to coerce the vote, the facts remain that Proposal 6 is bad for Michigan.
The simple truth is we need a new, modern bridge to Canada and we have a plan to build one at no cost to Michigan taxpayers. I repeat: at no cost to you.
The ads that say the new bridge will cost you or that it will take away from teachers, police and firefighters are simply not true. The nonpartisan, nonprofit Michigan Truth Squad issued a report and agreed, saying, “The agreement with Canada puts the financial onus on Michigan’s neighbor, not Michigan.”
Under the legally binding contract, Canada is responsible for guaranteeing all of the construction costs of the bridge, which will be financed by a private concessionaire, and only U.S. and Canadian steel will be used to build it. It’s clear this group will say anything to protect its monopoly.
But what does Proposal 6 mean for the rest of us? Consider some of the following statistics: Canada is our largest trade partner. Last year $597 billion worth of goods crossed between the U.S. and Canada. The Detroit-Windsor crossing is the busiest anywhere between the two countries. Each day nearly 8,000 trucks make that crossing and all of that trade supports 237,000 jobs throughout our state. That means one out of every 17 jobs in our state depends on the trade that occurs over that single bridge.
Unfortunately the 83-year-old Ambassador Bridge alone can’t handle the demands of our modern global economy.
The new bridge will provide direct highway-to-highway access improving traffic flow and reducing stress on local communities. This will allow more products made and grown in Michigan to be marketed and sold faster, and that’s good for our businesses and families.
In addition, the NITC will create at least 11,000 construction-related jobs, 750 long-term jobs, and generate and/or preserve as many as 25,000 jobs here in Michigan.
The New International Trade Crossing is supported by thousands of citizens and more than 160 companies and leaders. This includes Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Meijer, former governors, labor unions, chambers of commerce, and other community leaders and organizations.
It’s a great deal for all Michiganders.
Proposal 6, on the other hand, would benefit a single special interest at the expense of the rest of us. They might be able to afford it, but Michigan cannot.
Republican Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and Gov. Rick Snyder have been vocal proponents of building a second Detroit-Windsor Bridge