In last-ditch efforts to get their points across to voters, the two combatants in a battle over of a new international crossing between Windsor and Detroit held competing news conferences Monday.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, who has vowed a new span will be built with only Canadian money, spoke in support of the Detroit River International Crossing project while at a town hall luncheon.
Meanwhile, Dan Stamper, of the Ambassador Bridge Company, made his case against a new publicly-owned bridge. Both appeared within minutes of each other at the Book Cadillac Hotel.
Michigan residents will vote Nov. 2 on Proposition 6, which would require any new crossing to be approved by the majority of Michiganders..
Earlier this year, Ottawa and Michigan struck a deal to build a new Canadian-financed bridge linking Detroit and Windsor.
Under the agreement, Michigan wouldn't be obligated to pay any of the anticipated $1-billion cost of the bridge.
The Ambassador Bridge Company claims that isn't true.
"Governor Snyder is trying to sell Michigan voters a government bridge we don’t need and can’t afford, and he obviously knows it. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be so scared of letting the people have a vote on the new bridge," Stamper said.
Monday, Roy Norton, Canada's Consul General at Detroit said the new bridge is "Canada's most important national infrastructure project."
Snyder said the bridge is about jobs and trade.
"I wouldn't have supported this project if I didn't see tens of thousands of jobs coming," Snyder said.
Stamper, meanwhile, took issue with Ottawa’s proposed Bridge to Strengthen Trade Act, introduced in Parliament Oct. 18 as part of an omnibus budget bill.
Once passed, bridge construction would be immune to laws governing permits, approvals and authorizations, including the Environmental Assessment Act and the Species at Risk Act.
"It’s time for politicians to stop standing in the way of progress by protecting this boondoggle," Stamper said of the proposed Detroit River International Crossing project. "When they do, the Ambassador Bridge ready and willing to invest in a state-of-the-art border crossing at no cost to taxpayers on either side of the border."
The bridge company has been attempting to build its own second crossing for years.