WBEZ | Canada http://www.wbez.org/tags/canada Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Worldview: Canadian government report takes on climate activists http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-02-19/worldview-canadian-government-report-takes-climate-activists-111591 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/110039_180092.jpg" style="height: 415px; width: 620px;" title="Blog author Keith Stewart [center] engages in a sit-in on Parliament Hill to support action on climate change, which the RCMP document suggests is a threat to Canada's national security. (Courtesy of Greenpeace)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/191995975&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_artwork=false&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe><font color="#333333" face="Arial, sans-serif"><span style="font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px;">Canadian government report calls climate activists &quot;security threat&quot;</span></font></p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-5de00373-a3ba-3f5a-7292-4554fee19d97">Canadian environmentalists have said they may be subject to increased government surveillance and harassment. &nbsp;This comes after Greenpeace Canada secured a copy of a security assessment by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) declaring the &ldquo;anti-petroleum&rdquo; movement a &ldquo;growing and violent threat to Canada&rsquo;s security.&rdquo; We&rsquo;ll talk with Greenpeace Canada spokesperson, Keith Stewart, about the report&rsquo;s findings and what he thinks are the implications for Canada&rsquo;s environmental movement.</span></p><p><span><strong>Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/climatekeith">Keith Stewart</a>&nbsp;is a spokeperson for <a href="https://twitter.com/GreenpeaceCA">Greenpeace Canada</a>.</em></span></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/191996345&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px;">Female genital mutilation in Egypt</span></p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-89e747a3-a3bc-94a5-9364-73c772520ef7">According to Unicef,&nbsp;</span>in Egypt, 91 percent of married women between the ages of 15-45 have undergone some form of female genital mutilation. It&rsquo;s a procedure that partially or completely removes or alters the clitrois or labia. Even though FGM has been illegal in Egypt since 2008, &nbsp;the practice is still widespread. &nbsp;Last month, a doctor and parent became the first Egyptians convicted of the crime. We&rsquo;ll talk about the case and FGM in Egypt with Rothna Begum, a Middle East researcher focusing on women&#39;s rights for Human Rights Watch.</p><p><strong>Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/Rothna_Begum">Rothna Begum</a>&nbsp;is a&nbsp;woman&#39;s rights Middle East researcher for <a href="https://twitter.com/hrw">Human Rights Watch</a>.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/191997104&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe><font color="#333333" face="Arial, sans-serif"><span style="font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px;">World History Moment: Czar Alexander II frees the serfs</span></font></p><p>On February February 19, 1861 Czar Alexander II emancipated Russia&rsquo;s serfs. Historian John Schmidt explains how it happened. &nbsp;</p><p><strong>Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/JRSchmidtPhD">John Schmidt</a> is a Chicago based historian and author of &nbsp;&quot;</em>On this Day in Chicago History.&quot;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/191997341&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px;">Global Activism: Somebody&#39;s Mama empowers women around the world</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-02bf057e-a3cb-f59a-f165-48496747c7f9">Two friends, Leia Johnson and Erika Wright, wanted to form a network of mothers that would help bring relief to the suffering of mothers and their children around the world. They formed Somebody&rsquo;s Mama to help tackle issues like trafficking, maternal healthcare and girls&rsquo; education. For </span>Global Activism, we&rsquo;ll talk with Johnson about her group that she calls &ldquo;mamas, daughters, aunts, grandmothers, and friends who believe in the power of cooperation.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/MamaOrgana80">Leia Johnson</a> is one of the co-founders of <a href="https://twitter.com/SomebodysMama1">Somebody&#39;s Mama</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 19 Feb 2015 15:17:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-02-19/worldview-canadian-government-report-takes-climate-activists-111591 StoryCorps: Interracial couple travels to Ferguson, Missouri http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-interracial-couple-travels-ferguson-missouri-111086 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/StoryCorps 141107 Helene Lucas_bh.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Helene Matumona was born in Zambia, but grew up in Canada.</p><p>&ldquo;Chicago is very different from Vancouver,&rdquo; she says in this week&rsquo;s StoryCorps. &ldquo;When you&rsquo;re here, you really feel like you&rsquo;re black. I think that&rsquo;s how I would describe my stay in Chicago: I feel black.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m not trying to divide myself,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;You know, ideally I want to live in a society where there aren&rsquo;t tensions. Where we can all just be cool with each other.&rdquo;</p><p>Matumona came to the booth with her husband, Lucas Weisbecker, who is white. He asked her about their recent visit to St. Louis and the protests in nearby Ferguson.</p><p>&ldquo;It was just really tense at times,&quot; she says. &quot;Because you could feel the anger and you could feel just how fatigued the African-Americans in St. Louis were.&rdquo;</p><p>Weisbecker asks: &ldquo;Going to those protests, did that change your idea of what it means to be black?&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Yeah. Cause I&rsquo;m an African immigrant,&quot; she says. &quot;And I feel like there&rsquo;s a difference there. Versus being an African-American and going through these struggles, the Civil Rights movement and slavery and all that. There&rsquo;s definitely a different story there. There&rsquo;s a different fight.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;I went down there to try to see what was happening,&rdquo; Weisbecker explains. &ldquo;To try to feel the vibe of what was going on. And try to get a story from people that are actually there and experiencing like&hellip;because obviously there&rsquo;s a lot of underlying issues beyond just one kid getting killed. People react that way because there&rsquo;s a systemic problem and it&rsquo;s not being addressed.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;And you go down there and you see kids being basically fed up with the way things are and trying to make a difference,&rdquo; Weisbecker continues. &ldquo;The one thing I kept thinking about though was how is this actually going to make a difference in the end.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;There needs to be a direction. And there needs to be somebody or a group or an idea that puts everything into a direction, because if there&rsquo;s no direction it&rsquo;s just going to be unbridled anger, which is justified, but it is not necessarily going to change what it is that people are upset about.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;It was so cool to see people out in the streets talking about politics and the issues. And I think that&rsquo;s the first step to developing a direction. And you really need to be so on point to make change. And it was like: We were marching, We were yelling. We were talking. And it was just like: Okay, what&rsquo;s the action? What are we going to do?&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;d say, I left with a lot of questions.&quot;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/6250422&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="888px"></iframe></p></p> Fri, 07 Nov 2014 16:20:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-interracial-couple-travels-ferguson-missouri-111086 Shootings in Canada http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-10-23/shootings-canada-110984 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP479802858205.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Two people are dead after shootings at Canada&#39;s capital yesterday in Ottowa. We&#39;ll hear a report from the BBC on the deceased attacker&#39;s possible links to religious extremism.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-shootings-in-canada/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-shootings-in-canada.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-shootings-in-canada" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Shootings in Canada" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 15:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-10-23/shootings-canada-110984 Humanitarian aid for Syria http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-09-17/humanitarian-aid-syria-110806 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP209815201179.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Last week, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the U.S. will provide nearly $500 million in humanitarian aid to Syria as part of its strategy for combating ISIS. We&#39;ll find out what&#39;s included in the aid package.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-combating-isis-in-syria/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-combating-isis-in-syria.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-combating-isis-in-syria" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Humanitarian aid for Syria" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 10:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-09-17/humanitarian-aid-syria-110806 FIFA under fire http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-08-26/fifa-under-fire-110702 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP101216013165.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>When eight laborers died while working on stadiums for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, FIFA came under a barrage of criticism. Still, thousands of migrant workers are expected to die in preparation for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. We&#39;ll find out what&#39;s being done to try to tackle the problem.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-danger-for-migrant-workers-in-qatar/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-danger-for-migrant-workers-in-qatar.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-danger-for-migrant-workers-in-qatar" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: FIFA under fire " on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 11:24:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-08-26/fifa-under-fire-110702 Canada's Courts side with sex workers http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-12-23/canadas-courts-side-sex-workers-109430 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/prostitution-is-not-a-choice-2 logo.gif" alt="" /><p><p>Last week Canada&#39;s highest court struck down the country&rsquo;s anti-prostitution laws, siding with a group of sex workers who argued the ban made their work more dangerous. We&#39;ll take a look at the potential impact of the court&#39;s decision.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-canada-s-courts-side-with-sex-workers/embed" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-canada-s-courts-side-with-sex-workers.js" type="text/javascript" language="javascript"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-canada-s-courts-side-with-sex-workers" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Canada's courts side with sex workers" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 23 Dec 2013 10:46:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-12-23/canadas-courts-side-sex-workers-109430 Protests in Egypt, Korean comfort women and Canada's oil spills http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-07-25/protests-egypt-korean-comfort-women-and-canadas-oil-spills-108182 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP11101902832.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Egypt&#39;s political crisis continues. Korean &quot;comfort women&quot; hold symposium to seek justice and an end to gender-based violence. Canada&#39;s oil spills raise questions from scientists and the public. Global Activist Mary Dailey Brown improves wellness for women.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F102593025&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/protests-in-egypt-korean-comfort-women-and-canada.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/protests-in-egypt-korean-comfort-women-and-canada" target="_blank">View the story "Protests in Egypt, Korean comfort women and Canada's oil spills" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p></p> Thu, 25 Jul 2013 11:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-07-25/protests-egypt-korean-comfort-women-and-canadas-oil-spills-108182 How the NATO peoples helped settle Chicago, Part 1 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-05/how-nato-peoples-helped-settle-chicago-part-1-99022 <p><p>How about something on the impending NATO summit that's free of controversy? For the next three days, I’ll be doing capsule summaries of how the peoples from the 28 countries each did their part to build Chicago. &nbsp;</p><p><strong>Bulgaria</strong>—The first Bulgarians settled in Chicago during the first years of the 20<sup>th</sup> Century. Their numbers were not great, though distinct enclaves developed in Lincoln Square and Albany Park. Immigration has increased in the last 20 years and some sources claim that over 100,000 Bulgarians currently live in metro Chicago.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ZZ-Bulgaria-Church.JPG" title="St. John of Rila Bulgarian Orthodox Church--5944 W. Cullom Ave."></div></div><p><strong>Canada</strong>—In 1880, Canadians were Chicago’s third-largest immigrant group, after the Germans and the Irish. Most of them were English-speaking and could easily assimilate into the local culture. Today there are probably a lot of Chicagoans with a Canadian background, but you’d never know it—unless you ask one of them to say “about.”</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ZZ-Czech-Cermak%20%28LofC%29.jpg" style="float: left;" title="A Czech immingrant to Chicago: Anton Cermak (Library of Congress)"></div><p><strong>Czech Republic</strong>—Czechs were commonly referred to as Bohemians in the earliest census reports. Their homeland was then ruled by foreign powers. In the 1870s, large numbers of Czechs began coming to Chicago.</p><p>Most of the immigrants settled on the Lower West Side, along the axis of 18<sup>th</sup> Street. The neighborhood became known as Pilsen, after a city in Bohemia. The more prosperous Czechs later moved west into South Lawndale and suburban Cicero and Berwyn.</p><p>Anton Cermak was the Czech prototype of the poor immigrant who made good. He entered politics, got rich, became Mayor of Chicago, and had a major street named after him. Though almost all Chicagoland’s 500,000 Czechs now live in the suburbs, the old 18<sup>th</sup> Street area is still known as Pilsen.</p><p><strong>Estonia</strong>—Because their homeland was ruled by their bigger neighbors, early Estonian immigrants were classified as Russian or German. Independence came in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Estonian House, in Lake County, serves as a cultural center for Chicago’s Estonian-Americans.</p><p><strong>France</strong>—The first European to reside in Chicago, Fr. Jacques Marquette, was French. Chicago’s founder, Jean Baptiste Pointe Du Sable, was half-French. And yet, the city has never had a significant French colony. Why not? There’s a likely subject for a doctoral dissertation here.</p><p><strong>Italy</strong>—A few Italians began coming to Chicago as early as the 1850s. The great wave of immigration began in the 1880s. Over the next four decades the Italians established a significant presence in the city.</p><p>The main Italian community was on the Near West Side, along the Taylor Street corridor. Smaller settlements developed on the Near North Side, in North Austin, and in Pullman. During this era Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini helped establish a school, two hospitals, and other social agencies among her people.</p><p>The second half of the 20<sup>th</sup> Century saw many Italians leaving the city and moving into suburbs such as Elmwood Park and Oakbrook. In 2012 about 500,000 people in metro Chicago claim Italian ancestry. The historic focus of the community remains Taylor Street’s Little Italy, now home to the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame. And don’t forget the Columbus Day Parade!&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ZZ-Italy-street%201903%20%28LofC%29.jpg" title="Italians on the Near North Side, 1903 (Library of Congress)"></div><p><strong>Latvia</strong>—Latvia is a small country, and Chicago never had a large number of Latvians. The 1990 census counted about 7,000 in the metro area. Independence came the next year, and many Latvians have returned to their homeland.</p><p><strong>Netherlands</strong>—The most obvious reminder of Dutch settlement in metro Chicago is suburban South Holland, founded by immigrant farmers from the Netherlands in 1846. The more urban Dutch people later established an enclave just to the north, in the Roseland neighborhood. The Dutch community is now largely assimilated and dispersed.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ZZ-Romania-Queen%20Marie%2C%201926%20%28CDN%29.jpg" title="Chicago Romanians greet Queen Marie of Romania, 1926 (Chicago Daily News)"></div><p><strong>Romania</strong>—The earliest of the city’s Romanian settlements were on the North Side, in Lakeview and in Edgewater. As with other immigrant groups, many activities revolved around the ethnic parish. Immigration to America has increased in the last two decades, and the Chicago area now has an estimated 100,000 people of Romanian ancestry.</p><p><strong>United Kingdom</strong>—So who are we talking about here? English? Scots? Welsh? Ulster Irish? None of these peoples lived in distinctive ethnic neighborhoods, but all helped build our city. And I’m writing this—and you’re reading it—in English.</p></p> Tue, 15 May 2012 07:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-05/how-nato-peoples-helped-settle-chicago-part-1-99022 Worldview 12.1.11 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-12111 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/episode/images/2011-december/2011-12-01/sickle1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A genetic condition that causes lifelong anemia, sickle cell affects millions worldwide, most commonly people of African descent. In Cameroon and parts of Africa, the disease is highly stigmatized and often attributed to witchcraft. Today, <em>Worldview</em> talks with Michael and Florance Neba, who helped organize the first ever international conference on sickle cell in their native Cameroon. Also, the busiest international crossing in the U.S. is in Detroit.&nbsp; Each year, more than $200 billion worth of trade crosses the border here to Canada, with trucks traveling across a privately-owned, highly congested bridge. Though Michigan politicians want to construct a new, state-of-the-art bridge, a wealthy businessman stands in the way. For <a href="http://wbez.org/frontandcenter" target="_blank"><em>Front and Center</em></a>, WBEZ’s Natalie Moore brings us the story of a bridge project that, so far, is going nowhere.</p></p> Thu, 01 Dec 2011 15:35:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-12111 Detroit international bridge project going nowhere http://www.wbez.org/story/detroit-international-bridge-project-going-nowhere-94300 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-November/2011-11-28/The Ambassador Bridge.JPG" alt="" /><p><p><em>The busiest international crossing in the United States is in Detroit. Each year more than $200 billion worth of trade crosses the border there.</em><em> Those trucks drive across the Ambassador Bridge--which is privately owned. </em><em>The bridge is old and congested. Michigan politicians want to construct a new, state-of-the-art bridge. They say it will help increase trade and create jobs but the new bridge has a powerful opponent.</em></p><p>I recently visited Windsor, Canada, just across the river from Detroit.</p><p>I took the Ambassador Bridge, a busy overpass that truckers often use to transport auto parts.</p><p>But I crossed the river with a friend to dine on veal shank at a swank restaurant.</p><p>On the way back, my companion rolled down the window to answer questions from a Canadian customs officer.</p><p>Officer: Where are you coming from?</p><p>Friend: Little Italy, Windsor.</p><p>Officer: What brings you here from Chicago?</p><p>Friend: Vacationing</p><p>The Detroit River separates Windsor, Ontario from the Motor City. Without traffic, it’s a three-minute drive on the blue, 82-year-old bridge. From both sides, there’s a glittering view of each city’s downtown.</p><p>But during rush hour, the logjam for commercial trucks can exceed 90 minutes.</p><p>Lawmakers say a proposed New International Trade Crossing would mitigate that traffic. Ford Motor Co., for example, has 600 trucks that cross this river every day. The company says the delays from sitting in traffic hurt its business.</p><p>And bridge proponents tout that a new bridge could bring tens of thousands of jobs – just the economic medicine a fiscally battered Michigan needs.</p><p>I head to Southwest Detroit, the part of town where the proposed bridge would be constructed. Café Con Leche is a coffee shop and community gathering space. &nbsp;</p><p>Rashida Tlaib represents this area in the Michigan House. She’s elated at the prospect of a new bridge.</p><p>TLAIB: What’s wonderful about this project is that it’s not like resurfacing a road and putting 50 people to work. It’s 30,000 people and 20,000 of the 30,000 are most likely going to be permanent jobs. That’s amazing. And it’s going to be an infrastructure that keeps giving and giving and giving and giving.</p><p> <style type="text/css"> div .inline { width: 290px; float: left; margin-right: 19px; margin-left: 3px; clear: left; font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 1em; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-position: 0pt 5px; padding-left: 3px; margin-bottom: 0.5em; }div .inlineContent { border-top: 1px dotted rgb(170, 33, 29); margin-bottom: 5px; margin-top: 2px; }ul { margin-left: 15px; }li { font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 1em; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-position: 0pt 5px; padding-left: 3px; margin-bottom: 0.5em; }</style> </p><div class="inline"><div class="inlineContent"><a href="/frontandcenter"><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-06/FC-logo-sm_0.jpg" style="width: 280px; height: 38px;" title=""></a><ul><li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/greatlakesjobs"><span style="color: rgb(255, 0, 0);"><strong>GRAPH: </strong></span><strong>Great Lakes, great source for jobs?</strong></a></li><li><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/using-sound-find-leaks-and-save-dollars-94303">Using sound to find leaks and save dollars</a></strong></li></ul></div><div class="inlineContent">&nbsp;</div></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p>A new bridge would have toll booths, a customs plaza and to some, hopefully, bring ancillary businesses at the landing: warehouses, gas stations, restaurants.</p><p>Michigan, like the rest of the region, needs to upgrade infrastructure for the 21<sup>st</sup> century. Detroit has a huge, ready labor pool. Tlaib says building the new bridge could put those people back to work.</p><p>TLAIB: My God, there are steelworkers who haven’t been put to work in two years. How can we turn our backs to free money to putting people to work in tolling and revenue?</p><p>The money she refers to is half a billion dollars that Canada has promised to pony up to construct the new bridge. The total project is $2 billion, a mix of federal money and bonds, which would be repaid through tolls. The state insists the project would involve very little of its money.</p><p>All of the automakers support a new bridge. Politicians on both sides of the aisle do, too…including Republican Gov. Rick Synder.</p><p>So what’s holding it up?</p><p>VOICEOVER AD: Republicans and Democrats agree: Michigan’s potholed roads and crumbling bridges are a mess. Dangerous to our families and hurting our economy. But Rick Synder has a higher priority than fixing our local roads. Rick Synder wants to build a bridge to Canada instead. Special interests and contractors want the money. Synder wants a monument.</p><p>That ad was paid for by Matty Moroun, the reclusive, billionaire owner of the 82-year-old Ambassador Bridge.</p><p>He’s waged an aggressive television campaign against a new bridge and continues to stand in the way of its approval. A new bridge would ostensibly compete with his toll revenues.&nbsp; Moroun, who is a year older than the Ambassador Bridge, has made his fortune in the trucking business.&nbsp; In his battle, he has given campaign contributions to Michigan lawmakers who have voted repeatedly in committee to block it. Meanwhile, a judge recently found Moroun in contempt for failing to finish a project to improve bridge traffic. The Moroun family declined to comment for this story.</p><p>The new bridge that everyone is talking about would be a couple of miles from Moroun’s bridge. It would be in Delray – a Southwest Detroit neighborhood seething with poverty, pollution and peril. Simone Sagovach is driving me around the neighborhood. I see burned-out homes, smell a wastewater treatment plant and feel a sense of despondency.</p><p>SAGOVACH: Historically, it was a multiethnic community, largely a Hungarian base. Today it’s still multiethnic. But the demographics have changed. It’s largely minority – African-American and Latino. We also have Arab population here. And mostly people are poor.</p><p>That’s why Sagovach is part of a coalition pushing for a community benefits agreement if a new bridge is built. So far 500 people have signed onto the community benefits agreement, calling for air-quality protection and home improvement dollars, too.</p><p>SAGOVACH: Some people are looking to the potential of the bridge development to either be something to lift up the community, finally bring some reinvestment, some jobs that people can walk to--maybe on the plaza. Maybe there will be jobs related to the border infrastructure.</p><p>Back in downtown Detroit, the business community is cohesive in its support of a new bridge. Sandy Baruah is president of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce. The Ambassador Bridge is visible from his bay windows.</p><p>BARUAH: This bridge--the New International Trade Crossing would be a key infrastructure project not just for Detroit, not just for Michigan but for this entire region, which includes Ohio, which includes Windsor, Canada.</p><p>Part of Baruah’s role is attracting businesses to Southeastern Michigan. He says if there’s a bridge he could go to manufacturers and international companies and tell them he can guarantee them ease of access between the U.S. and Canada.</p><p>Right now he doesn’t have that selling point. And it’s a challenge.</p><p>Jack Lessenberry is a professor at Wayne State University. Lessenbery says Governor Synder may eventually have to circumvent the Michigan legislature to get the bridge approved by perhaps using a bond authority.</p><p>Getting the bridge built is just that crucial.</p><p>LESSENBERRY: It would prepare Michigan to compete for the economy of the 21<sup>st</sup> century. If this built doesn’t get built, Detroit would be further cut out of the economic action.</p><p>While it waits for the bridge, there are two other border states that might like to take its place: Ohio and New York.</p></p> Thu, 01 Dec 2011 13:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/detroit-international-bridge-project-going-nowhere-94300