Apr 27, 2009
Cropsey may declare war on Canada over Ambessador Bridge
State Sen. Alan Cropsey, R-DeWitt, appears to be ready to declare war on Canada because they are not willing to give a GOP benefactor a permit to land a second Ambassador Bridge on Canadian soil.
Grosse Pointe billionaire and Republican benefactor Matty Moroun wants to build a second span next to the current Ambessador Bridge - only one of two international border crossings in the country in private hands - but the Canadian and U.S. government wants to a new public-private bridge at a site located downriver from the current Ambassador Bridge at the site of the Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) Study. Cropsey and Senate Republicans have pulled out all the stops to help Moroun keep his monopoly, going so far as to threaten arrest and to hold up the Transportation Budget to get their way.
Canadian Ambassador to the United States Michael Wilson spoke at a teleconference sponsored by Michigan State University's Canadian Studies Center last week, and according to subscription only MIRS, he said building a new Detroit/Windsor bridge at a site located downriver from the Ambassador Bridge is "a top priority of the government of Canada.
Cropsey called Wilson’s support and comments on the DRIC study “absolute hogwash."
The Ambassador Bridge crossing is the busiest border crossing in North America. More than $200 billion in trade went between the U.S. and Canada through Michigan in 2008.Canada does not want to grant permit to land the new Ambassador Bridge on the Canadian side because traffic on the Canadian side of the Ambassador empties into a city street in downtown Windsor, and trucks must go through 17 stop lights to reach the freeway. Backups can be as long as 5 miles, and Canadian officials do not want to see more traffic dumped onto city streets.
Cropsey said Canada is trying to force the U.S. to pay for an "enormous boondoggle" in the DRIC. Asked what would happen should Canada refuse to grant permits for a second Ambassador span to be built, Mr. Cropsey said, "If Canada doesn't want to have trade with the U.S., that's their problem."
I’m not sure what he means. Senate Democrats are accustomed to his browbeating, insults and threats, but it’s something new to Canadian officials. I’m not sure if Cropsey plans on calling out the Michigan National Guard or what to stop trade that directly supports 7.1 million U.S. jobs, 221,500 Michigan jobs, and one in three Canadian jobs.