Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Friday, March 05, 2010

Stop The Presses---Windsor/Detroit Border In The Budget

Why does Canada choose to rub it in the face of Michigan legislators time after time. The Federal Budget did it again!

Perhaps it is because Canada wants to control the border crossing itself.

  • Windsor-Detroit

    The Windsor-Detroit border is the busiest commercial crossing in North America, through which over one-quarter of our merchandise trade with the U.S. passes. In 2007, the Government of Canada set out a strategy to advance the construction of a new crossing in the Windsor-Detroit corridor. Canada has worked in concert with the State of Michigan and its U.S. partners, with the U.S. federal administration, with the Province of Ontario and with the City of Windsor to move this project forward. Since 2007, the project has reached key milestones, culminating earlier this year in the issuance of a Request for Proposal of Interest for the development of the Detroit River International Crossing Project under a public-private partnership arrangement.

    Budget 2010 provides $10 million over three years to Transport Canada to support the legal, financial and technical work required to advance this project.
Wow, $3.3M per year for our border. Now that is real commitment to the project all right that should get Michigan onside. NOT!

Uhhhh, didn't the PM tell the Minister of Finance about his Mandate letter to buy the Ambassador Bridge? It's not a P3 now but a purchase Minister since the PM has figured out that Michigan is a lost cause and will not vote for P3 legislation. Was it so secret too that no money has been set aside to buy it after all? I did not see anything in the Budget about that.

Or maybe the whole thing is just another lie, the usual in the DRIC story!

PS to Michigan Legislators

Note the reference to "culminating earlier this year in the issuance of a Request for Proposal of Interest for the development of the Detroit River International Crossing Project under a public-private partnership arrangement."

That document must be the one that MDOT issued as its own I assume


    CONTACT: Bill Shreck, Director of Communications, 517-335-3084

    MDOT issues Request for Proposal of Interest in
    Detroit-Windsor border crossing system

    January 27, 2010 -- The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is asking individual firms and teams to respond to a Request for Proposal of Interest in partnering on the Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) project.

    The Request for Proposal of Interest follows a series of informal interviews that MDOT and Transport Canada, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, conducted with major developers, contractors and lenders who had previously been involved in similar large privately-financed transportation infrastructure projects. This step involves a solicitation of market interest in the project that would provide the Michigan Legislature and the Canadian government with more information to formulate governmental policy and develop a procurement and transaction schedule. The deadline for individual firms or teams to submit responses to the Request for Proposal of Interest is March 17.

    Responses will be used by MDOT in a required report to the Michigan Legislature that MDOT will submit by May 1."

Nope, MDOT does not care what the Legislators think. I was right after all when I Blogged:

  • "How can this be? Somehow the Canadian Government is jointly and directly involved in a supposed MDOT solicitation to meet the requirements of the Michigan Legislature although Canada's role is not mentioned in the Press Release. I wonder why not...

    Has MDOT in fact thumbed its nose at the Legislature nose by starting the process to choose a P3 operator even though there is no legislation in place and the Legislature has not approved the project going forward as their Budget Act requires.

    Let's be real, this is NOT MDOT merely "[soliciting} from the private sector requests", this is MDOT and Canada starting the process by obtaining expressions of interest...

    This is NOT what section 384 says at all nor was it the Legislature's intent.

    While I believe that the document was designed to make it appear that it was an MDOT document that complied with the section, I suspect that Transport Canada had more than a hand in it. There are 2 glaring mistakes made in it that tell me that MDOT's role was minor. Maybe I am wrong but one day I hope we shall find out the truth whether Transport Canada was the real author...

    In other words, this document was prepared to meet Canada's timetable and its plan to put the Bridge Company out of business. And to make sure that MDOT cannot back out since it is a "joint" document

    This document is how MDOT is ignoring the Legislature as if it did not exist.

    This is a MegaProject that is running amok! And what is the lame-duck Governor doing about it?"

Now Canada's Budget document spilled the beans!