During U.S. elections Tuesday, Michigan voters defeated Proposal 6, which would have called for a statewide vote on plans for any new international crossing, including the proposed new bridge over the Detroit River. Slightly more than 60 per cent of voters turned down the proposal, which would have been entrenched in the state's Constitution.
Proposal 6 was one of the final hurdles that needed to be cleared for the building of a new bridge to proceed, and provide competition for the 83-year-old Ambassador Bridge, Canada's busiest border crossing, owned by billionaire Matty Moroun.
[. . .]
Moroun was behind the ballot proposal. He spent more than $30 million in advertising to promote it to sway voters.
Some observers believe Moroun will now take his battle to court on both sides of the border.
"We can’t say what will happen. I will not speak about what Mr. Moroun will do in the future," Lebel said. "We’ll do this bridge, I’m sure of it."
[. . .]
"It is clear the voters resisted amending the Constitution, but it would be a mistake to assume taxpayers support a flawed government bridge that puts taxpayers at risk," committee spokesperson Mickey Blashfield said in a statement. "We have full confidence that the citizens, legislature and financial community will continue to hold any bridge to its promises of 'not one dime of taxpayer money.'"
[. . .]
Matt Marchand, president of the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce, is pleased, saying business groups on both sides of the border campaigned to ensure people heard the facts, in spite of Moroun's advertising blitz.
"We're just looking forward to new cross-border infrastructure and if there are hurdles thrown at it, so be it," he said. "At the end of the day, there's an agreement signed by the prime minister and the governor, along with the voters from Michigan giving the go-ahead."