Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


The call has gone out and the friends of DRIC are responding.

Who cares if DRIC will cost Senior Citizens in Michigan more money. No time to listen to them when DRIC duty calls. No answers either to their questions.

DRIC is in big trouble. Gather the forces to save it from being ended. Saving taxpayer money, get real.... The boondoggle must go on!

Big meeting to convince and pressure the Michigan Legislature to salvage the unsalvageable DRIC. Or rather to pass P3 legislation to help make Wall Street investment bankers rich again.

Has anyone seen the financing numbers report from Wilbur Smith yet? I have not seen the report publicly even though the traffic numbers report was issued some time ago. If not, I can guess why.

They have to be so horrible meaning that an "alternative payment" regime is necessary because there is not enough money in toll revenues or the tolls would be so high no one would ever cross the border in Detroit/Windsor (except at the lower cost Ambassador Bridge!). ie taxpayer subsidy needed. After all, the total cost is $5 billion for roads, plazas and bridge.

As I Blogged before:

  • "That is why separately Transport Canada's Mark Butler said:

    "We are continuing our discussions with Michigan on governance issues and financing issues,” said Mark Butler, a Windsor-based spokesman for Transport Canada...

    Butler said the Canadian government would prefer that the new cable-stayed or suspension bridge be undertaken on the basis of a public-private partnership. But he said this approach is not yet set in stone."

    Now you know why it is not set in stone. But it gets even worse:

    "Given the anticipated tolled nature of the border crossing, MDOT says there are several public-private partnership models ranging from real tolls to availability payments that could be applied to the DRIC under current market conditions."

    What a joke...from real tolls to phony tolls ie payments support by either direct Government payments or guarantee or subsidies. All at extra taxpayer expense forever! They dare not say that in the RFPOI because then the Legislator who reads it would know that this is a financial disaster.

    "Current market conditons" is a euphemism for saying there is no way that a "real toll" bridge could ever be considered because of

    ---the multi-billion cost which would drive users away

    ---economic melt-down,

    ---lack of infrastructure money and

    ---competiton from the Ambassador Bridge whose tolls would be 1/4 of that of the DRIC bridge.

If there is no legislative approval, then the project is dead. Think how badly off financially and upset the DRIC consultants and engineers and bankers and P3 operators and lobbyists and lawyers will be. $60M or so earned so far from this project on both sides of the border and even more millions yet to be made at public expense!

Never mind how distraught Canada and its bureaucrats and politicians will become. Another effort to beat Moroun and take away his bridge cheaply down the drain.

Now you know why Prime Minister Stephen Harper sent out his secret mandate letter to buy the Ambassador Bridge. He knows that the DRIC was always a phony and that the DRIC supporters in Michigan have blown it.

We need to run a pool about who will be attending the meeting. I need a trustworthy person to mark off the political, business and labour people from this list below. Those are my guesses. Perhaps Sarah Hubbard from the Detroit Chamber could do it. I am sure she WILL be there.

These people surely will be attending, rooting for DRIC even if some of them are supposed to be independent and not a cheerleader. I mean they were there when DRIC needed them before: