The Canadian government says it will maintain a consular presence in Buffalo, even though the downtown Consulate in the HSBC Tower is slated to close.
Senator Charles Schumer says he has been in contact with government officials, trying to get them to reverse what he calls a "poor decision." Around 75 people worked on two floors in the tower. The Consulate's immigrant section closed in June.
While its still on track to close next week, Schumer says Foreign Minister John Baird has agreed to keep a consular presence in the Queen City through a smaller liaison office.
Economic opportunity and security challenges along the northern border were among the issues discussed during an Congressional Field Hearing in Buffalo today.
Representative Brian Higgins, the Ranking Member of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence arranged the hearing. Erie County Emergency Management Commissioner Dan Neaverth and Niagara County Sheriff James Voutour were among the witnesses called to testify at Buffalo's Federal Courthouse.
Though it seems Washington doesn't always appreciate problems along the border with Canada, the director of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement says his agency is constantly monitoring the many sensitive cross-border issues.
John Morton passed through Buffalo from Washington and then down to the Mexican border later that afternoon.
He says there is nothing on his desk about changing border crossings in this area, although he preached joint border inspections like those long proposed for the border with Canada.
Federal prosecutors are seeking to bring nearly two-dozen Canadians here for trial, as they announced a series of arrests in a cross-border computer-based scam.
At a late afternoon news conference Tuesday in Buffalo, U.S. Attorney William Hochul said the scam went right across the U.S. targeting people in need of some cash to deal with the financial crises of hard times.
"There was a request for an upfront payment," said Hochul.
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand hosted a roundtable discussion in Niagara Falls Tuesday morning to discuss ways for business leaders and elected officials to improve cross-border commerce.
Local stakeholders and area business leaders gathered in the City of Niagara Falls Tuesday to attend a roundtable discussion on improving cross-border commerce hosted by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
Gillibrand was joined by Rep. Kathy Hochul and Rep. Brian Higgins to discuss trade barriers and opportunities in tourism across the U.S./Canada border.
CBC News is reporting that the Canadian Consulate office in Buffalo will be closing. The Canadian government says the closing is due to budget cuts and changes in immigration rules.
The main function of the Buffalo office was to help foreign students and temporary workers extend their visas to stay in Canada, but that will now be handled online and in immigration offices in Canada. Other consular functions in the Buffalo office will be transferred to New York City.
Business Technology & Resource Group, or BTRG for short, was established in 1993 and is headquartered in Mississaugua, Ontario. Already having done business with some major employers in Buffalo, including Delaware North Companies, BTRG has chosen the Queen City for its U.S. headquarters.