State Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-I-60th, sent a letter Hon. Rob Nicholson, PC, QC, minister of justice and attorney general of Canada, Conservative Party of Canada MP for Niagara Falls, and Rick Dykstra, Conservative Party of Canada MP for St. Catharines Tuesday asking them to reconsider the closure of the Buffalo-based Canadian Consulate.
Here is what Grisanti wrote:
May 29, 2012
Hon. Rob Nicholson PC, QC,- Conservative Party of Canada MP for Niagara Falls
Minister of Justice 515-S Centre Block House of Commons
Ottawa, ON KIAOA6
"Dear Hon. Rob Nicholson and Hon. Rick Dykstra,
"It was with much sadness and disappointment that I read the news late last week of the impending closure of the Canadian Consulate in the Buffalo area. Over time the United States and Canada have strengthened their ties and we are collaborating on a wider range of issues than ever before from border policy reform to joint trade negotiations. This growth in our relationship deems it essential that we have constant contact and direct relations. To move the Buffalo office back to Canada will limit the regular lines of communication we have developed thus decreasing our ability to jointly and quickly solve problems. The professional and dedicated staff in the consulate has steadfastly represented the interests of Canada while being advocates for a beneficial cross border partnership.
"During the economic upheaval of the past years, our border traffic has uniquely increased. Canadian shoppers, tourists, students and sports fans regularly visit the Buffalo Niagara area. When issues arise as they do from time to time, the Canadian Consulate provides vital assistance. Having the Canadian Consulate in downtown Buffalo has eased concerns, provided resources and defined a commitment to collaboration that has stretched beyond the 40 years of the office.
"I understand that fiscal constraints require belt tightening. We, in New York State, are also trying to reevaluate our expenses to ensure appropriate spending levels. What I ask is that you do not underestimate the strategic investment you are making in resources that can provide strong, long term returns. As we celebrate the two centuries of peace that goes along with remembering the bicentennial of the War of 1812, let us not fail to recognize how closely tied our two regions have become.
"We do not want to lose this important bridge to our closest northern neighbor. Please reconsider the closure of the Buffalo based Canadian Consulate."