By Joel Thurtell
The Windsor Star has called on Canadian governments to nationalize the privately-owned Ambassador Bridge linking the U.S. and Canada.
About time somebody took this idea seriously.
Back on May 14, 2009, I argued that governments, using their power of eminent domain, simply condemn Matty Moroun’s beloved, lucrative and decrepit Ambassador Bridge. There’s not much leadership right now on the U.S. side, but if the Canadians took over that portion of the bridge that rests on their territory, it might build a fire under U.S. authorities. It might shame them into doing what’s right for the common good instead of playing the billionaire’s shoddy game.
One piece of advice I’d change. Instead of having the Canadian and U.S. governments operate the bridge, I’d suggest doing one of two things: 1) Tear it down as a public nuisance and replace it with the government-supported Detroit River International Crossing bridge; or 2) build the DRIC, but re-open the Ambassador as a theme park dedicated to the merits of PUBLIC transportation.
Here’s what I wrote then:
Tear down Matty’s fence.
Tear down Matty’s fraudulent Homeland Security “no trespassing” signs.
Replace those basketball courts.
Re-sod the area Matty tore up.
Once started, why stop with taking back the park?
Turn Matty’s medicine back on him. Send that SWAT team in to seize the bridge itself.
Lots of chatter about whether Matty has the power of eminent domain.
Surely, the government has the power to condemn private property, including a privately-owned international bridge.
I understand 40 percent of the freight passing between Canada and the U.S. goes by way of the Ambassador bridge.
The people need to own the bridge.
If Matty sends out his private army of shave-domed, shotgun-slingin’ hooligans, why hey — I kinda think Detroit cops could sent em packin.
If there’s a problem, maybe Wayne County Sheriff Warren Evans could lend a few deputies and even Gov. Jennifer Granholm could sending the National Guard.
Take the bridge.
Wouldn’t that be great?
Number One thing a public owner would do? Have the bridge inspected for safety. That would be a first. That would lead, inevitably, to defusing the bomb under the bridge, i.e., dismantling those underground fuel storage tanks sitting under the bridge along with the 300,000 gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel that are the biggest security risk facing this bridge.
Number Two: According to law, no more hazardous material trucks on the bridge. That would be a first.
Number Three: Run the bridge as a public entity generating revenue for the public treasury. Another first.
Lastly, tell Matty if he wants his bridge back, he can sue.
Isn’t that kind of what Matty’s telling the city?