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The People Of Michigan “Switched On The Lights”

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Report. “On November the 6th, the people of Michigan ‘switched on the lights’ for a giant infrastructure project which will create more than 10,000 construction jobs and strengthen the industrial base in both our countries,” said Canadian Chamber of Commerce President Perrin Beatty. Voters in Michigan massively rejected ballot Proposal 6, a measure which would have blocked the state government from moving ahead on the construction of the New International Trade Crossing between Windsor and Detroit.
“This is a great victory for citizens and businesses on both sides of the border. Michigan and Canada share one of the largest trade relationships in the world. In many ways it’s a model for the entire Canada/U.S. partnership. With this wise decision, voters have signalled they are ready to cooperate on a huge project to enhance that partnership.”
Mr. Beatty singled out key actors who contributed to the campaign to tell the truth to Michigan voters. “This was made possible because of the unprecedented commitment of the Government of Canada, the powerful presence of Canada’s Consul General Roy Norton, the Windsor-Essex-Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and our U.S partners,” he said. “With about half of all trade between Canada and the U.S. moving across the Michigan-Ontario border, the region is at the heart of our bilateral trading relationship. A new bridge is long overdue.”

All the Chambers of Commerce—in Windsor, Ontario and Canada, have long advocated this critical cross-border infrastructure investment at Windsor-Detroit. It’s an economic lifeline for both our countries and we are elated that this attempt to stop it has failed. ”The Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce (GOCC) is extremely pleased to hear the outcome” stated Bob Malcolmson, CEO of the Chamber. “In 2003 the GOCC first called for action from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce to support the Detroit River Tunnel Project  as the front runner to the bridge.”

At the time the GOCC called for support from not only the Ontario but the Canadian Chambers of Commerce to support a transportation solution that would ease the capacity problems and increase the reliability for commercial traffic crossing the Detroit/Windsor Gateway.

The Canadian business community has been demanding a second bridge between Windsor and Detroit for several years. About 10,000 commercial vehicles cross the Ambassador Bridge each day. Almost a quarter of all merchandise trade between Canada and the U.S. uses the bridge which links highly integrated sectors like the automotive industry. However, these same supply lines are extremely vulnerable to delays, especially at the border. These delays add costs that decrease productivity and kill jobs.

“Last night’s decision by Michigan voters marks a turning point,” added Mr. Beatty. “The Canadian government, Consul General Norton and Michigan Governor Snyder have worked hard to get us to move the project along. Now we need to see the project through.”
About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce – the CCoC is the vital connection between business and the federal government. It helps shape public policy and decision-making to the benefit of businesses, communities and families across Canada with a network of over 420 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing 192,000 businesses of all sizes in all sectors of the economy and in all regions. News and information are available at http://www.chamber.ca or follow the CCoC on Twitter http://twitter.com/CdnChamberofCom.