Michigan voters reject roadblock to new U.S.-Canada bridge
Published Tuesday, November 6, 2012 7:21PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 7, 2012 11:22AM EST
Michigan voters have turned down a proposal that could have created a major roadblock in the construction of a new bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ont., according to early returns Tuesday night.
Proposal 6 would have amended Michigan’s constitution to force a statewide vote on any international border crossings.
That could have thwarted the Canadian government’s deal with Michigan to build a new bridge across the Detroit River. Ottawa has agreed to foot the bill for the new crossing, which would compete with the existing, privately-owned Ambassador Bridge.
Ambassador Bridge’s billionaire owner, Matty Moroun, has spent millions of dollars fighting the construction of a new border span and funding ads for Proposal 6.
But with 44 per cent of precincts reporting late Tuesday night, more than 60 per cent of Michigan voters rejected the proposal.
A very different ballot issue in other states could also have an impact on Canada.
Washington state and Colorado both legalized recreational use of marijuana, a move closely watched by Canadian pot activists.
Voters in Washington approved state-licensed marijuana growers and retail stores, where adults who are 21 or older will be able to buy up to 28 grams of pot.
A similar measure passed in Colorado, although public marijuana use will still be banned.
Some observers have said that relaxed pot laws in the U.S. could have a ripple effect across the border, especially in British Columbia.
“We want to follow the U.S. example of making more progressive laws, keeping people out of prisons, taking money away from gangs, making everyone safer,” Jodie Emery, who is married to well-known B.C. pot activist Marc Emery, told CTV British Columbia this week.
“That’s the approach we need.”
Kash Heed, a Liberal B.C. MLA, said the outcome of the Washington referendum will have a direct impact on cross-border drug traffic.
“You will see the proceeds that criminal organizations are making here in B.C. by delivering the product to Washington State decrease substantially because they will no longer be able to reach the black market,” he said.
In Massachusetts, voters approved the use of medical marijuana, joining 17 other states. Arkansas voters were also deciding on a similar measure.
With a report from CTV British Columbia