In addition to casting votes for their President this past week, Michigan voters were asked to vote on Proposition 6. This proposition had been added to the ballot by local billionaire Matty Maroun, who for decades has owned the Ambassador Bridge across the Detroit River, between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan. Proposition 6 proposed that plans for all new bridges and tunnels to be constructed in Michigan be subject to a state-wide vote. With 60 per cent of voters voting against adoption of the Proposition, the Proposition was defeated, clearing the way to proceed with plans to construct the New International Trade Crossing, which is intended to help alleviate congestion at the 83-year old Ambassador Bridge. Construction of the new crossing has been strongly advocated by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and Prime Minister Harper.

Gary Doer, Canada’s Ambassador to the United States, described the Windsor-Detroit crossing “as the most important crossing in the world, as it helps transport one quarter of all goods traded between Canada and the United States.” Doer said the new crossing is critical to Canada’s environment, since it would ease traffic in Windsor, and would secure two-way trade between Canada and the United States.

Canada has already agreed to pay for Michigan’s $550 million share of construction costs. After recovery of this share of the cost through tolls, Michigan and Canada will enjoy an equal share of future toll revenues.