Come. On.

25 Apr

Today, Washington really screwed Western New York. The Department of Homeland Security broke off talks with the Canadian government regarding shared border management.

The Canadian government. I mean, Christ is there any government ours can get along with?

The sticking point?

The DHS refused to comply with Canadian law which would have forbidden US inspectors from fingerprinting travelers who approach the Peace Bridge but then change their minds and do not cross.

“That’s a vital authority that we’re simply not willing to surrender,” spokesman Russ Knocke said.

Under shared border management, which was announced as a done deal to some fanfare in 2004, American border inspectors would be sited on the Canadian side of the Peace Bridge, thus freeing the west side neighborhoods on the US side of lots of idling trucks, and permitting us to re-configure the park by the Peace Bridge to look like this.

In response to the announcement, Assemblyman Sam Hoyt said,

It is imperative that these talks continue and that we reach a final agreement on shared border management. Two years ago we all joined on the west side to announce the agreement for a pilot project which was widely applauded by elected officials and community members. Without shared border management there is no way that this project can proceed in a fashion that is positive for the entire city of Buffalo. This project is going to affect our community for generations – it is essential that we do it right.

Instead, we’re looking at a larger plaza on the US side. Just about every single local politician has pushed for shared border management to shift inspection to the Canadian side.

From Congressman Higgins’ office:

In response to the Department of Homeland Security’s announcement today that they are ending all consideration of a shared border management plan at the Canadian side of the border, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) released the following statement:

“This decision demonstrates the inability of this Administration to find a creative solution to a difficult problem.,” said Higgins.

A Canadian news report says,

Canadian law doesn’t permit fingerprinting unless someone volunteers or has been charged with a crime.

But suspicious people could still be questioned, said Day.

It’s puzzling, said Greenwood, that the two countries have had a successful air clearance program at major airports for years but can’t conclude this deal, where the stakes for the economy are so much higher.

Why is this important, aside from the aesthetics of Front Park in Buffalo?

The Peace Bridge between Buffalo and Fort Erie, Ontario, is the third busiest commercial crossing and second busiest passenger vehicle crossing along the northern border, handling $20 billion of trade annually between the United States and Canada.

Congestion blamed on infrastructure constraints and heightened post-9/11 security cost the economies of both countries billions of dollars each year.

Let’s try again, shall we?

10 Responses to “Come. On.”

  1. Dave April 25, 2007 at 10:14 pm #

    My guess is that Bush watched Canadian Bacon and thought it was a documentary.

  2. biniszkiewicz April 25, 2007 at 10:31 pm #

    How pathetic that the US side is being so difficult. What a disappointment for Buffalo.

  3. 1776 April 26, 2007 at 7:12 am #

    Dave-hahahaha.

    At least our local elected officials are trying to do something, even if the big brass is acting like a bunch of idiots. Why I continue to be surprised by their idiocy is beyond me.

  4. Pauldub April 26, 2007 at 8:22 am #

    DHS seems to be staffed with megalomaniacs

  5. hank kaczmarek April 26, 2007 at 10:07 am #

    Perhaps DHS needs to be reminded of an old catch-phrase–AMERICA FIRST. or in this case, let’s do what’s so obviously best for OUR COUNTRY. Getting the truck traffic idling on THEIR side, not OUR side.

  6. Lisa April 26, 2007 at 10:10 am #

    To anyone who might know the answer – Does this really mean the whole idea of shared border management is dead for good?

  7. Rifle Dude April 26, 2007 at 10:45 am #

    The Right honorable George W. Bush is protecting us… from ourselves.

    Why aren’t local GOPers feet held to the fire for the actions of their glorious leader?

  8. hank kaczmarek April 26, 2007 at 4:53 pm #

    No National thread is complete without someone starting the Two Minutes Bush Hate.

    When the USS Cole was attacked by Terrorists in Yemen, and Clinton and Gore did nothing about the deaths of US Navy personnel, why didn’t someone hold THEIR feet to the fire…If they had, perhaps we wouldn’t be in Iraq today. Then what would you whine about?

    Sorry I forgot. Clinton/Gore did no wrong….

  9. Tatonka April 26, 2007 at 6:17 pm #

    Whine much, Hank?

  10. Tuatara April 26, 2007 at 9:09 pm #

    The fact is this — WNY is not now and never will be part of the Bush constituency. He just doesn’t care. As far as he is concerned, there is not one whit of difference between the southern and northern borders, so he’s better off just sticking with his plan to keep scaring everyone with the “War on terraa…” and reject SBM because we’re all too stupid here to protect ourselves.

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