Posted Jan 10th 2013 7:30PM
You mean to tell me that one man owns the busiest international border crossing between Canada and the United States? One that carries about 25 per cent of all trade between the US and Canada? Ha! With apologies to George C. Parker, if you believe that, I've got a bridge to sell you.
Wait. This is for real, as in, a real bridge? Apparently so. The Ambassador Bridge, which connects Detroit, Michigan with Windsor, Ontario, Canada is in fact owned by a billionaire Grosse Pointe, Michigan resident named Manuel "Matty" Moroun. Moroun is none too pleased with the prospect of a new bridge, proposed years ago and backed by the US and Canadian governments, competing with his own. The billionaire went so far as to fund a multi-million-dollar campaign seeking to create a constitutional amendment that would require a statewide vote to fund such a project. The proposition was voted down, meaning the bridge project could proceed.
We haven't yet explained the best part: Our Canadian government has agreed to pay for the construction of the bridge, plus the land in Michigan that would need to be acquired and the construction of necessary on-ramps to Detroit's I-75 highway. Which would leave Michigan and its residents with, well, absolutely zero financial obligation.
Here's where we point out that a huge amount of automotive trade is carried over the Ambassador bridge. In fact, according to the New International Trade Crossing website, Chrysler has estimated that "delays at the Detroit-Windsor crossing adds more than $600 to the average car manufactured in the Michigan-Ontario region."
Leave it up to The Daily Show to turn such an oddly controversial topic into a hilarious video segment. Sadly enough, the Comedy Central clip seems to be restricted to America-only, so look for it here on the Comedy Network in Canada.