Debating Prop 6, the Bridge Proposal
A handful of Jackson residents got up before sunrise to hear from the Canadian Consulate General Roy Norton, who is speaking out against proposal 6.
"The option was to do nothing, and take all the risk that at some point the 83-year-old bridge would no longer be functional and the companies in this region that depend on moving things back and forth across it wouldn't be able to do that anymore. That was worse than paying for it." said Roy Norton, Consulate General of Canada.
He says Canada promises to pay all the construction costs because getting the New International Trade Crossing built is Canada's number one infrastructure priority.
But the folks supporting Prop 6 want the people to vote on a new bridge. They don't buy the idea that the New International Trade Crossing won't cost the people of Michigan anything.
"So you agree that there should be a new bridge there," said FOX 47's Brian Johnson in an interview with Mickey Blashfield, the Director of "The People Should Decide."
"We've always agreed, we've always agreed that sooner or later, there should be another bridge. And let me tell you the reason the Ambassador [Bridge] has been looking at it," said Blashfield. He then described that adding a third lane in each direction to the existing Ambassador Bridge is a "better technology" than to build a whole new bridge.
Matty Moroun, the owner of the Ambassador Bridge, is spending millions in advertising to convince people to vote yes on proposal 6. You've seen the commercials. They air frequently on FOX 47 and odds are you will be seeing a lot more of them until November 6. Moroun has spent more than $5 million for ads this week alone. That has significantly increased compared to previous ad buys. Earlier this year he paid $4.7 million for ads running between July and last Sunday.
Governor Snyder and other critics are urging people to vote no on proposal 6. They say the ads are entirely false.
"There isn't a true fact in [the ads] except for the fact that your talking about a bridge in Michigan," said Governor Snyder. "Canada is going to pay for this bridge and be re-paid from tolls. This is a fabulous opportunity, and then we can use the Canadian investment to leverage federal road dollars all across Michigan to improve Michigan roads."
Why is the Detroit/Ontario crossing so important?
There are 27 bridges that go from the U.S. to Canada, and only two are privately owned. Of all 27 bridges, the Ambassador Bridge is the most heavily-used bridge. In fact it's the busiest commercial border crossing in North America. More than 25,000 vehicles go across the bridge daily, and next closest bridge is about 60 miles away. The bridge is a huge investment that Moroun is paying millions to protect.
Hal Ziegler was one of the residents at the community meeting in Jackson Thursday morning. He plans to vote no on proposal 6.
"I don't think it's an overstatement to say that if proposal 6 passes it will be the greatest election fraud ever perpetuated on the people of the state of Michigan," said Ziegler.