Tag: cross-border

    Battle over Peace Bridge stokes Canada-U.S. cross-border tension

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    From Canada.com:

    Three U.S. lawmakers have launched a bid to scrap the “dysfunctional” binational agency that has overseen operation of the Peace Bridge between Ontario and New York for nearly a century, part of the escalating fallout from a dispute over planned improvements to the U.S. approach to the crossing that has pitted Canadian board members against their American counterparts.

    The Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority — commonly known as the Peace Bridge Authority — and the key international link it has administered since 1923 have been hailed as symbols of the enduring friendship between the U.S. and Canada after the War of 1812, the key battles of which were fought near the present site of the Niagara River bridge that connects Fort Erie, Ont., and Buffalo, N.Y.

    But that peaceful coexistence has been strained within the PBA boardroom in recent months, with Canada’s five, federally-appointed members and the five U.S. representatives locked in a deepening conflict over a planned, multimillion-dollar upgrade to roads and facilities on American side of the bridge.

    Chamber not on board with entry fees

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    It may be promoting “1 Less Trip” to the U.S., but the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce isn’t on board with Canadians paying an entry fee to visit their neighbours to the south.

    The U.S. is proposing a “land border crossing fee” to ease the country’s financial situation. The Department of Homeland Security’s 2014 budget calls for a study on the costs to collect a fee from vehicles and pedestrians crossing the border, and to complete it within nine months.

    The department’s secretary, Janet Napolitano, wrote in written testimony two weeks ago fees to support processing travellers haven’t been adjusted for more than 10 years and more customs officers are needed.

    Kithio Mwanzia, the chamber’s director of government relations, said a fee would “greatly impact” cross-border trading.

    Custody of killer whale plays out in court

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    Another great article about the Marinlenad/SeaWorld court case, this time from the Toronto Star:

    Ikaika, an eight-year-old male killer whale at Marineland in Niagara Falls, is the equivalent of a troubled teenager. He is full of sexual energy, has a violent family tree and a pattern of aggressive behaviour that often leaves him swimming alone. Even so, two marine parks are waging a cross-border court battle for custody of the valuable orca.

    A St. Catharines judge recently ruled he be returned to SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla., where he was born in August 2002. The judge’s ruling focused on legal technicalities surrounding the “breeding loan agreement” between the two parks.

    Neither side is speaking on the matter publicly — both declined interviews with the Toronto Star — due to the pending appeal. Marineland repeatedly declined to comment on advice of their lawyers.

    “We stand by our filings in the court record,” said Fred Jacobs, vice-president of communications for SeaWorld, in an email.

    The court files, however, provide a rare glimpse into the dealings of the marine park community, which is notoriously private.

    Economic development: How could this happen?

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    From the Niagara Gazette:

    It almost defies logic.

    Niagara Falls, N.Y. sits on the edge of one of the great wonders of the world.

    It boasts some of the highest-profile developers in America.

    The local governments have an array of economic development agencies and programs and assistance packages at the ready.

    Millions of visitors arrive each year, bringing with them millions of dollars in disposal income.

    And yet, the community as a whole continues to languish behind its more prosperous cross-border neighbor — Niagara Falls, Ontario, a city that is literally walking distance away.

    Millions fewer visitors coming to Niagara in 2009

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    From Niagara This Week:

    The double whammy of the brutal recession and new identification rules at the border have devastated cross-border travel that’s a backbone of Niagara’s crucial tourism sector, gutting thousands of jobs here, figures from the Binational Tourism Alliance show.

    In an attempt to try to reverse the disturbing trend, the alliance is pushing local, provincial and federal governments to buy into an action plan designed to get more people crossing back and forth across the border.

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