Today, Michiganders don’t have to look any further than an article in the Detroit News to see that the governor isn’t telling the truth when he says the Crossing Agreement with Canada to build the New International Trade Crossing (NITC) is “ironclad.”
The article features important commentary from University of Michigan law professor Dan Crane, who notes that although Canada has offered to cover the costs of the bridge today, “political winds have a tendency to change. ‘Ten years from now we could be in a situation where there are demands that Michigan step up and contribute money,’ Crane said.”
In fact, it would be easy for Canada to renege on its promise, as the Crossing Agreement contains termination and amendment clauses on pages 36 and 40. And thanks to a new analysis from O’Keefe & Associates, we also know that between cost overruns that are common for this sort of project and traffic shortfalls below the government’s overly optimistic projections, the cost of the NITC could skyrocket to more than $8 billion.
Just how long will Canada be willing to pour billions into its NITC investment without seeing any return? That’s anyone’s guess, but we know the Canadians are sure to ask Michigan taxpayers to foot the bill once they realize the folly of the situation into which their leaders have gotten them.
Before we indebt ourselves to a foreign power, let’s make sure the people have a say — by voting YES on Proposal 6.