Defeat of Proposal 6: "Last night, the people of Michigan "switched on the lights" for North America's most important infrastructure project," says Perrin Beatty

Nov 07, 2012, 11:10 ET from CANADIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

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OTTAWA, Nov. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Last night, 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 last night, 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 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."

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce 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  or follow us on Twitter @CdnChamberofCom.