The New Border Letters
The Ambassador Bridge people were outraged by the DRIC plaza report which they claim resulted in their project being removed as a possible border crossing. The DRIC report suggested that a good chunk of Sandwich would have to be taken over by a Plaza of up to 120 acres while in fact, they have all the space needed for their Enhancement Project already.
The US side isn't all that much better. Senator Basham of Michigan is an opponent of the Bridge Company and that's fine. He is entitled to his opinion after all. He is not entitled to spread incorrect information to his constituents and others about the effect of Bill C-3. Here is what he said in his latest newsletter:
- "Basham Works to Ensure Study on Detroit International Bridge Crossing Continues
Supporters of the ongoing study of a new crossing, including the Senator, have argued the twinning of the Ambassador Bridge does not address future capacity needs at Michigan’s and the United States’ busiest commercial trade corridor. Furthermore, Canadian authorities have already rejected the plan to twin the Ambassador Bridge and passed legislation last year that explicitly prohibits a private entity from owning any future international crossing."
Do you see what I mean? Where does Bill C-3 explicitly prohibit what the Senator says it does. The answer is that it does not. His comment on the statute is wrong. Yet, his newsletter will go out to people and they will believe that the Bridge Company is unable to build its Enhancement Project. He should be forced to issue a correction.
I am providing copies of recent letters that you might find of interest. To those in Michigan who claim that they have been told that the Canadian Government will never allow the Ambassador Bridge to land its new bridge in Canada, then the letter from Transport Canada should end that disinformation.
The letter from the Senior Transport Canada official makes it very clear that the Government will act in a legal fashion and if the Bridge Company is entitled to its permits, then they will receive them. Perhaps you can see something in the letter that I cannot but I see the Transport Department acting the way the Senate suggested they should. Perhaps this is the explanation about why Dan Stamper was so pleased after the meeting in Ottawa.
And just to make sure that everyone understands what MDOT's position is, it is set out in the Director's letter. This really isn't new either since MDOT sometime ago said that they would not oppose the Enhancement Project. For the Bridge Company, this is all good news since the letter came out after the Governor wrote to the US Transportation Secretary.
If there is a race between the Bridge Company and DRIC, as the media suggests, then it would appear that the Bridge Company is far in the lead. According to Dan Stamper at his press conference, they expect to receive their permits this year and start building right away.
I left a little surprise for you if you go to the website. You can read the letters that were written to President Bush and to Prime Minister Harper as well.