To Canadians who seem to have an overwhelming love of Barack Obama, his conquest Tuesday of a second term as U.S. president was exciting news. But how do Canada’s economic interests emerge from the elections? There is one positive, one negative, and whatever lies behind door number three.
First, the positive: Michigan voters defeated a proposal that would have stymied development and construction of a new bridge across the Detroit River. Far from the drama around the presidential contest, this plebiscite, proposed and sponsored by the owner of the Ambassador Bridge that joins Detroit to Windsor, represented the biggest issue of the night likely to have a direct impact on Canadians the next day. Canada is proposing to finance Michigan’s part of the cost to build the $4-billion bridge. So much trade flows across the river that improving crucial infrastructure at this border crossing is in the interests of both countries, particularly our economy, which remains so dependent on trade with the U.S. This isn’t the final step, but an important hurdle to have jumped.