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Harper congratulates Obama, applauds Michigan’s bridge decision

Prime Minister Stephen Harper visits the Taj Mahal in Agra, India on Monday, November 5, 2012.

Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Stephen Harper congratulated Barack Obama on his re-election victory and signalled his relief at the defeat of a Michigan ballot measure that could have delayed a new Windsor-Detroit bridge.

"I know it was a very hard fought election," Mr. Harper said of the U.S. presidential race that saw the Democratic candidate beat Republican rival Mitt Romney.

"We look forward to working with the president for the next four years," the Prime Minister told reporters after touring a Sikh heritage centre in India's northern Punjab region.

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"We've had a very good and productive working relationship; we're both focused on jobs and the global economy, particularly in North America," he said while in Anandpur Sahib, about 82 kilometres outside the regional capital of Chandigarh.

Mr. Harper said he looks forward to working with Mr. Obama on a perimeter security agreement, which will see Canadian and American authorities work more hand in glove on screening cross-border travellers and commercial traffic.

The Prime Minister made special mention of the defeat of a ballot campaign that tried to throw a roadblock in the path of a recently-announced Windsor-Detroit bridge.

Ambassador Bridge owner and billionaire Manuel "Matty" Moroun had spent tens of millions of dollars trying to convince Michigan voters they should change their state constitution to require a referendum before any publicly-funded span to Canada is built.

The proposal was rejected November 6 by Michiganders.

"I should also mention very briefly the fact of the result of the referendum in Michigan. We're very pleased to see the support of the people of Michigan for the new bridge between Detroit and Windsor which is very important to the economies of our countries."

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

Steven Chase has covered federal politics in Ottawa for The Globe since mid-2001, arriving there a few months before 9/11. He previously worked in the paper's Vancouver and Calgary bureaus. Prior to that, he reported on Alberta politics for the Calgary Herald and the Calgary Sun, and on national issues for Alberta Report. More

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