Ambassador Bridge lawyers make strong case the Canadians have no legitimate franchise for new bridge but...
2013-06-10: The Ambassador Bridge company has its lawyers working the US District Court in Washington seeking an order invalidating the US Government's approval for the new (NITC) toll bridge a couple of miles downriver that will be built and financed by the Canadian government.
Supporters of new international toll bridge in Detroit win big in election day ballot Proposal 6 - 60/40 vote
Supporters of a new Canadian sponsored bridge downriver of the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor won a big political victory in voting in Michigan Tuesday. The new bridge got 2.63m votes to 1.78m or 60% to 40% in so called Proposal 6.
A Yes vote for Michigan's Proposal 6 is a no-brainer. Sloppy and malicious local reporting and demagoguery out of the Governor's office and a local Canadian consul has portrayed Proposal 6 as barring any new international bridge or tunnel to protect a supposed "monopoly" at the Ambassador Bridge.
TOLLROADSnews has had an extended back & forth with proponents of the new Detroit-Windsor bridge championed by state governor Rick Snyder and the Canadian Government, and opposed by the Michigan legislature, the Ambassador Bridge company and a group it supports called The People Should Decide.
Again and again reports in the Detroit media misrepresent Proposition 6 on new international toll crossings - a proposed amendment to the state constitution supported by the Ambassador Bridge company and up for vote in the balloting November 6 in Michigan.
For example the Detroit Free Press newspaper starts an editorial this morning this way: "Proposition 6, which requires voter approval of new international bridges and tunnels…"
The United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit) ruled today that the Ambassador Bridge company is NOT a federal government instrumentality. Outside of Detroit legal circles this is hardly a startling revelation.
The company after all is family owned. The family owns the great toll bridge between Detroit and Windsor. All the officers and directors are appointed by the Moroun family.
It is not even a toll concession. The bridge is the property of the bridge company in perpetuity.
Opponents of a new governments sponsored bridge between Detroit and Windsor will get to have their issue on the November ballot. The state Supreme Court ordered the Board of Canvassers to allow the measure to go to the voters after all.
Voters will get to vote on this promoted by a group The People Should Decide which reads:
2012-06-13: There were moves in the Michigan legislature today intended to prevent a rogue state Governor doing his much predicted 'end run' around it on the new toll bridge Detroit to Windsor. A state house appropriations committee approved language explicitly barring use of monies of a Michigan Strategic Fund for a new bridge and barring the Fund from committing to any new contract related to planning or construction of a new bridge.
Local reports are that the Canadian Cabinet will give its approval Wednesday to a special agreement with Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to allow construction of a new toll bridge between Detroit and Windsor about two miles downstream of the Ambassador Bridge. The agreement would allow the bridge, known as NITC or New International Trade Crossing, to proceed despite opposition from the state legislature, which has consistently barred any expenditure on even planning the new bridge.
Michigan's populist Republican governor Rick Snyder regularly plays Detroit's favorite game of Bash the Bridge Company, for example calling it a "private monopoly" (the market is split three ways with the nearby Detroit Windsor Tunnel and the state's own Blue Water Bridge further north).
But the bridge company plays hardball too, as demonstrated with a variable message sign.