Canadian Consulate says commercials about Proposal 6 aren’t accurate
The Consulate General of Canada based in Detroit Roy Norton said TV ads supporting Proposal 6 are full of lies.
Proposal 6 seeks to stop the New International Trade Crossing, a bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.
Manuel “Matty” Moroun, owner of the Ambassador Bridge from Detroit to Windsor, and his family are interested in preserving their monopoly, Norton said, and they have run a deceitful campaign to prevent the NITC from proceeding. He said the Morouns are “pathological liars” in their TV ads supporting Proposal 6.
“You should believe nothing that is said in those TV ads because none of it is true,” he said.
About 30 people came to hear Norton speak on “Bridging to Opportunity” Monday night in the Park Library Auditorium. Norton heads the Canadian Consulate, which promotes Canadian interests in trade, investment, the environment, culture and academic relations. The event was sponsored by the College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences, the College of Graduate Studies and the political science department.
Norton said there are 27 bridges between the United States and Canada, and two, including the Ambassador Bridge, are private. The other 25 bridges are public.
Norton said normally the NITC would be a shared project between the United States and Canada, but Canada agreed to “step up and ante up” when it became evident that Michigan was not going to be able to pay for the bridge. He said Canada is committed to paying for the NITC.
“Canada is shouldering the full burden of this project… but both sides will benefit,” he said. “It will cost the state of Michigan zero—nothing.”
Norton said Canada is not going to leave Michigan with the bill for the new bridge.
“We do not renege on our commitments,” he said. “If there’s any risk anywhere, it’s on the Canadian taxpayer.”
Canada has not put money toward political TV ads against Proposal 6 in Michigan, Norton said, instead choosing to spend money on the bridge.
Norton said bridges that were built in the 1920s, such as the Ambassador Bridge, were expected to have a life span of 50 years. Because the bridge is privately owned, he said it can’t be inspected.
“The Morouns act as if by virtue of being millionaires, they can do whatever they want,” he said.
If Proposal 6 passes and the Ambassador Bridge were to close, Detroit would be left with no option, he said. Large trucks can’t fit through the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel.
“If (the Ambassador Bridge) were to fail, and if there were no other bridge, it would literally be calamity,” he said.
The NITC would last 125 years, he said.
Norton said the NITC is expected to earn $100 million per year, and it will be paid off to Canada after 50 years. After the bridge is paid off, Canada and the United States will share the revenue from tolls, he said.
Norton said passing Proposal 6 would harm business and trade between the United States and Canada because half of everything Michigan sells is bought in Canada. He said almost half of all trade between the United States and Canada crosses between Michigan and Ontario.
“We’re best friends and closest allies,” he said. “Canada and Michigan are actually one another’s best customer.”
Big Rapids junior Rachel Kadar said she attended the event because she wanted to be informed for the election. She said she had not known about Proposal 6 before, but she thought it was awesome to get a perspective on the issue from the consulate general of Canada.
“I was really impressed that he didn’t hold anything back,” she said.
Kadar said she thinks it is illegal for people to “look into the camera and lie” in political TV ads, and she is concerned about whether or not the ads about Proposal 6 or truthful because many people don’t research the issues.
“That’s people’s definition of research: Watch a commercial, then form an opinion,” she said.
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