Local Lawmakers Urge Canadian Government to Keep Consulate in Buffalo | News
Buffalo, NY - In response to the decision to close the Canadian Consulate in Buffalo, the Western New York Congressional delegation wrote to the Canadian Prime Minister. They hope the government will reverse course after considering the negative effects of the closure on both sides of the border.
Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand along with Representatives Louise Slaughter, Brian Higgins and Kathy Hochul stressed the importance of the Consulate to cross-border trade and employment of Canadian and American citizens.
Below is a copy of the letter sent to Prime Minister Harper
Western New York Delegation's Letter to Prime Minister Harper
Dear Prime Minister Harper,
We write to express our disappointment with your government's decision to close the Canadian Consulate in Buffalo. We respectfully request that you reconsider this decision, reflecting on the fact that it makes eminent economic and political sense - for both Americans and Canadians - for the Consulate to remain at HSBC Center in downtown Buffalo.
The Canadian Consulate in Buffalo has long been Western New York's link to the Canadian government and a partner in many bi-national projects and initiatives at the federal, state, and local levels. The future of the economies of Western New York and Southern Ontario are firmly intertwined, so building relationships with our Canadian partners and working to remove regulatory barriers to cross-border trade will spur efforts to improve economic development in the region. The loss of this office in Buffalo will be sharply felt on all levels of government, along with the citizens who use its services and benefit from its location. The Consulate's presence is also representative of the strong and enduring relationship between the two countries along one of the world's longest peaceful borders.
The importance of the Consulate in the future cannot be understated. The Beyond the Border Action Plan, a signature document meant to renew and improve the strong relations between our two countries, demonstrates that importance. We have found that the Canadian Consulate in Buffalo to be an essential resource in effectuating those plans, not only as a liaison between your government and local political and economic stakeholders, but also a relevant resource. To materially reduce this resource now, when our countries are in the midst of making our relationship stronger, will be unfortunate.
Our shared border between Southern Ontario and Western New York contains one of the busiest international crossings in the world. Roughly 30% of total US-Canada trade crosses at our border crossings, amounting to an estimated $70 billion in trade passing over the four highway bridges and two active railway bridges in the region. These border crossings are consistently ranked at the top of all US-Canada border crossings in total vehicle, bus and pedestrian traffic, and ranked number two in truck traffic. This does not even take into account the millions of annual tourists and regional shoppers that make up the over thirteen million crossings over the highway bridges each year. Furthermore, thousands of Canadians cross over into Western New York on a daily basis for travel, commerce, health care, education, the arts, sporting events, and countless other reasons, supporting a necessary interest of your government.
Again, we forcefully urge you to reconsider your decision to close the Canadian Consulate in downtown Buffalo. It is important to the future of our communities and our continued strong bi-national relationship, both now and into the future.
Senator Charles Schumer
Senator Kristen Gillibrand
Congresswoman Louise Slaughter
Congressman Brian Higgins
Congresswoman Kathy Hochul
Top Downtown Stories
Most popular stories from nearby communities
- Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market Lists May 25 Events
- New Flavors and Cuisines at Sun Restaurant
- Kennedy, Ryan Welcome Homeowner to Renovated 19th Street Home; Announce Housing Grant for West Side
- Local WWII Vet Shares Amazing Story of Survival
- Permanent Food Vendors to Replace Winter Market at Horsefeathers