In 2013, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership for the first time had staff dedicated to CanAm. In March, the Partnership hired Bryan Roth, formerly the Political, Economic & Public Affairs Officer at the Canadian Consulate, as its Business Development Manager for CanAm. Another first for the Council was the naming of its first Chairperson, Joanne Campagna, Senior Vice President of Global Commercial Banking at Bank of America.
Under Joanne’s leadership, the Council membership doubled, multiple B2B events were held and advocacy items were accomplished.
- A partner event with the Greater Niagara Regional Chamber of Commerce featuring the U.S. Consul General from Toronto
- Meet Me at the Border: An event focused on border documentation with the New York Canadian Consulate
- A partnership between the Buffalo Niagara 360 (BN360) program and the Next Niagara program in Ontario that included the BN360 Kickoff Celebration
- A tour of the CBSA facilities at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge
- Cross Border Huddle: The U.S.-Canada Business Symposium in Toronto in partnership with the Buffalo Bills and Rogers Media Inc.
On the advocacy front, the committee focused on a secure but efficient border. Following full support by Partnership membership and in partnership with our elected leaders, the Peace Bridge was designated a pilot project site for phase II of cargo pre-inspection. This project was a top priority of the Partnership: it not only creates less congestion on the bridge and U.S. plaza, but it should move commercial traffic through the U.S. plaza more efficiently. Other advocacy items included letters to U.S. CBP and CBSA to address the longer than normal wait times at our area bridges, especially this past summer.
Finally, the Partnership remained involved with working groups headed up by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to provide comment and feedback regarding the Beyond the Border Action plan and the Regulatory Cooperation Council between the U.S. and Canada.
Moving ahead in 2014, the Council continues in its efforts to create more partnerships with Canadian entities, create further business opportunities and meetings for our members, advocate for a secure and efficient border and lastly create an operation plan for the Council itself.
Visit www.thepartnership.org/canam to learn more.